Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Art Blakey - Second Edition

This is a companion piece to the recently posted Theory Of Art; it also comprises, I believe, the LP released as Art Blakey - Selections From Lerner And Loewe (tracks 1-6). Tracks 7-9 are alternate tracks from Theory; and the remaining two are previously unissued takes from A Night In Tunisia. I think I got it right.

This is an interesting CD reissue of formerly rare material from the second version of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The first six selections are the full contents of a long-out-of-print Vik LP which find the Messengers (with tenor-saxophonist Johnny Griffin, trumpeter Bill Hardman, pianist Sam Dockery, bassist Spanky DeBrest and the drummer/leader) playing six songs by Lerner and Loewe including "Almost Like Being in Love," "On the Street Where You Live" and "I Could Have Danced All Night." In addition, the same group is heard on two previously unreleased alternate takes with altoist Jackie McLean (who was actually Griffin's predecessor) making the band a sextet, and there are three numbers (including two "new" takes) from an expanded unit (called "The Jazz Messengers Plus Two") which features such players as a very young Lee Morgan (making his debut with Blakey a year before he joined the group), Hardman, trombonist Melba Liston, Griffin and pianist Wynton Kelly. But rarity aside, the performances should please straightahead jazz fans. ~ Scott Yanow

Art Blakey (drums)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Johnny Griffin (tenor sax)
Sahib Shihab (alto sax)
Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Bill Hardman (trumpet)
Melba Liston (trombone)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Sam Dockery (piano)
Cecil Payne (baritone sax)
Spanky DeBrest (bass)

1. Almost Like Being in Love
2. There But for You Go I
3. They Call the Wind Maria
4. On the Street Where You Live
5. I Talk to the Trees
6. I Could Have Danced All Night
7. Night at Tony's (take 3)
8. Night at Tony's (take 4)
9. Social Call (take 4)
10. Off the Wall (take 5)
11. Couldn't It Be You? (take 3)

The Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner (1974)

I've always liked this cover photo of the trumpets with their "hat" mutes. Apparently, Diz is the only one who knows what to do with his.

After bringing Kansas City blues and boogie East in the Thirties and helping to sire rock and roll in the Forties and Fifties, Joe Turner launched the third epoch of his phenomenal career with star-studded Pablo jam sessions like this one. The Trumpet Kings are Harry "Sweets" Edison, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, and Clark Terry, each a totally personal brass master; and guitarist Pee Wee Crayton also makes several choice contributions. The highlights are found on the two extended tracks, "I Know You Love Me Baby" and "T.V. Momma," where Turner spins out endless variations on the blues while being goaded by the most incendiary trumpet section in memory.

This album features a most unusual session. Veteran blues singer Joe Turner and his usual rhythm section of the mid-'70s (which includes guitarist Pee Wee Crayton) are joined by four notable trumpeters: Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Harry "Sweets" Edison, and Clark Terry. On three blues (including the 15-minute "I Know You Love Me Baby") and "Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do," the group stretches out with each of the trumpeters getting ample solo space. It is not a classic outing (a little more planning and better material might have helped), but it is colorful and unique enough to be easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz and blues fans. - Scott Yanow

Joe Turner (vocals)
Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Clark Terry (trumpet)
Pee Wee Crayton (guitar)
Jimmy Robins (piano)
Charles Norris (bass)
Washington Rucker (drums)
  1. Mornin', Noon and Night
  2. I Know You Love Me Baby
  3. T.V. Momma
  4. 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do
Recorded September 19, 1974

Monday, September 29, 2008

Billy Taylor - 1945-1949 (Chronological 1137)

Following up on the notable gentleman, Mr. Billy Taylor, this Chrono regards the period around the previously posted Redman CD. After that tour Mr. Taylor spent some time in Paris and The Netherlands, and returned to take the house band spot at Birdland.

Many jazz fans don't realize how long ago Billy Taylor began his career; this French anthology assembles five separate sessions that he led as a young man between 1945 and 1949, as well as one date as a sideman. In 1945 he shows the influence of both Art Tatum and Teddy Wilson in the lightly swinging take of "Night and Day," while his campy approach to "Alexander's Ragtime Band" is rather refreshing. His lyrical solo interpretation of "The Very Thought of You" from 1946 demonstrates his considerable growth as a pianist. Taylor also wrote seven of the songs, which include two versions of his easygoing "Stridin' Down the Champs-Elysees," the flashy blues "Well Taylor-Ed," and two rare vocals by Taylor on the Nat King Cole-like "I Don't Ask Questions, I Just Have Fun" and "So You Think You're Cute." The four tracks featuring Taylor as a sideman in the Walter Thomas Orchestra find him pretty much relegated to a supporting role, although the presence of Doc Cheatham, Eddie Barefield, and Hilton Jefferson makes the music of interest. But Taylor's quintet session with the infrequently recorded tenor saxophonist John Hardee (who is in great form) is hampered somewhat by the unnecessary addition of organist Milt Page, who proves to be more of a distraction with his uninspired playing. Because so much of the valuable material within this collection has been next to impossible to find, it will be of significant interest to fans of Billy Taylor. ~ Ken Dryden

Billy Taylor (piano)
John Hardee (tenor sax)
Doc Cheatham (trumpet)
Teddy McRae (tenor sax)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Specs Powell (drums)
Shadow Wilson (drums)

1. Monk's Mood (Mad Monk)
2. Solace
3. Night And Day
4. Alexander's Ragtime Band
5. Black Maria's Blues
6. Bird Brain
7. Dee-Tees
8. Back Talk
9. The Very Thought Of You
10. Stridin' Down The Champs-Elysees
11. Well Taylor-Ed
12. I Don't Ask Questions, I Just Have Fun
13. So You Think You're Cute
14. Twinkletoes
15. Restricted
16. Stridin' Down The Champs-Elysees
17. Mitch's Pitch
18. Mr. B. Bops
19. Misty Morning Blues
20. The Bug
21. Prelude To A Kiss
22. Take The 'A' Train

Tommy Dorsey - 1937 Vol. 2 (Chronological 995)

This sixth installment in the Tommy Dorsey chronology opens with Paul Weston's snappy big-band orchestration of "Humoresque" by Antonin Dvorák, including a quote from Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home," better known as "Swanee River." For the flip side of this Victor recording, guitarist Carmen Mastren fashioned a lovely arrangement of the famous theme from Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 in E Minor and casually rechristened it "Rollin' Home." Crooner Jack Leonard is featured on the next three titles, and although "You're Precious to Me" is one of his least insipid performances on record, it pales considerably when compared with Wingy Manone's soulful version. Relief arrives in a smokin' jam on W.C. Handy's "Beale Street Blues." This marvelous traditional jam scintillates with Dave Tough's cymbal work and the incredible warmth of Bud Freeman's tenor sax solo. Six sides recorded on June 12, 1937, by the Clambake Seven sustain the friendly mood with a succession of catchy studies in small-group swing with vocals by Edythe Wright. The party culminated with "Posin'," a slaphappy stop-action novelty singalong punctuated with abbreviated instrumental breaks by several of the band's star players, including Dave Tough, who was famous for his reluctance to take drum solos. Three fine big-band instrumentals were recorded at the same session: "That Stolen Melody" by Fred Fisher, "Barcarolle" by Jacques Offenbach, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Hymn to the Sun." About one month later, Edythe Wright and Dorsey's Clambake Seven returned to the Victor recording studios to wax four swinging renditions of romantic Tin Pan Alley marzipans. The session concluded with two more Wright vocals backed by the big band and "Are All My Favorite Big Bands Playing or Am I Dreaming?," a hilariously bizarre pastiche of sound effects and cornball novelty licks accompanying Bud Freeman as he recites wistful lyrics in a theatrical British accent. Interestingly, this sounds a lot like a premonition of "The Wrong Idea," that ruthless send-up of big-band gimmickry that Charlie Barnet would record more than two years later during the autumn of 1939. ~ arwulf arwulf

Tommy Dorsey (trombone)
Bud Freeman (tenor sax)
Pee Wee Erwin (Trumpet)
Johnny Mince (clarinet, alto sax)
Howard Smith (piano)
Edythe Wright (vocals)
Carmen Mastren (guitar)
Dave Tough (drums)

1. Humoresque
2. Rollin' Home
3. You're Precious To Me
4. Happy Birthday To Love
5. Strangers In The Dark
6. Beale Street Blues
7. Is This Gonna Be My Lucky Summer?
8. If You Ever Should Leave
9. Who'll Be The One This Summer?
10. Don't Ever Change
11. Our Love Was Meant To Be
12. Posin'
13. That Stolen Melody
14. Barcarolle
15. Hymn To The Sun
16. My Cabin Of Dreams
17. You're My Desire
18. Am I Dreamin'
19. In My Meditations
20. Are All My Favorite Bands Playing Or Am I Dreaming?
21. The Things I Want
22. Allegheny Al

Gene Krupa - 1941 (Chronological 960)

A nice transitional collection from Krupa. Note these lesser known but fine musicians; Shorty Sherock, Ray Biondi, and Sam Musiker who was featured here recently.

" The key recruitment during 1941 was Anita O'Day; her presence tends to distract attention from the band itself, which is steamingly powerful... Gene doesn't vary much from an alternation of 4/4 and 6/8, but his sheer presence is infectious and his attack unfailingly dramatic. The vocal contributions tend to predominate, but Gene's own playing is revelatory for anyone who thinks that polyrhythms began with Elvin Jones and the Coltrane quartet." ~ Penguin Guide

Gene Krupa's band was in a state of transition when these sides were cut in 1941. Vocalist Irene Day was leaving, the marvelous Anita O'Day and Roy Eldridge were coming aboard, and the band was finally coming up to their leader's fiery level of playing. You can hear the change on tracks like "Alreet," and Anita's and Roy's spirited exchange on "Let Me Off Uptown." Everything on here works just fine, grade-A swing propelled by Krupa's always explosive drumming and the spirited playing of his band. Transfers of the of the old Okeh 78s are a bit fusty but generally fine, and the enclosed information in the booklet make this a good buy worth tracking down. ~ Cub Koda

Gene Krupa (drums)
Roy Eldridge (trumpet)
Anita O'Day (vocals)
Sam Musiker (alto sax)
Shorty Sherock (trumpet)
Ray Biondi (guitar)

1. There'll Be Some Changes Made
2. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
3. Drum Boogie
4. These Things You Left Me
5. Alreet
6. Georgia On My Mind
7. The Things I Love
8. Fool Am I
9. Siren Serenade
10. Let's Get Away From It All
11. Little Man With A Candy Cigar
12. Just A Little Bit South Of North Carolina
13. Slow Down
14. Maria Elena
15. Don't Cry Cherie
16. I Take To You
17. Where You Are
18. A Rendevous In Rio (Un Momento)
19. Throwing Pebbles In The Millstream
20. Green Eyes
21. Let me Off Uptown
22. Flamingo

Jandek - Living In A Moon So Blue

As a long, long, long time listener and supporter of WFMU (remember when they were at Uppsala?) and likewise admirer of Irwin Chusid, I have been aware of Jandek for many years. I can't say that I'm his number one fan, but when I saw 30+ of his CDs recently for under $5 each, I figured it was time to introduce him here. I picked up 3 or 4 of his things. If anybody is dying to hear something in particular by him, let me know and if it's available I'll pick it up.

This cover may seem familiar to some of the oldtimers; it was the avatar of the guy who brought me into the blogging scene: disappearingink. The last I heard he was doing some research on Jandek. Look the guy up.

"Originally released in 1982 on Jandek's Corwood Industries label, this is one of three albums he released in that year, and the CD reissue series initiated in 2000 seems intent on bringing all of his rare albums back into existence. Many Jandek collectors believe Living in a Moon So Blue to be the apex of his extensive catalog, which clocked in at 30 albums at the turn of the millennium. While this certainly rates highly in the Texas artist's bizarre universe, it must be said that there is little else on which to measure it. While his albums may have great variation in style, they are all inimitably Jandek. His music can often sound like the paranoid rantings of a lunatic, and to many could be considered an unlistenable indulgence of undeveloped and messy ideas; to others, this could be the prophecy of a genius unheralded, whose work sat tentatively on the extreme fringes of avant-garde music throughout the '80s. Regardless of disparate opinion, Living in a Moon So Blue displays an emotional power not often heard on record and, if Jandek's seemingly improvised stream-of-consciousness music does not send shivers down the spine, it will certainly provoke confusion or joy in those interested in outsider art. From the Shaggs and Roky Erickson through to Captain Beefheart, it would be hard to find a stranger recording than any given Jandek album. Notably, our mysterious recluse is particularly furious on this record, giving his usual mournful whisper up, favoring an agitated punk shout over his frantic detuned strumming." ~ Skip Jansen

1. Gretchen
2. One Step Ahead
3. Supression
4. Strange Phenomenon
5. You Can Stop Now
6. Comedy
7. Sailors
8. Bludgeon
9. All in an Apple Orchard
10. She Fell Down
11. Professional
12. Anticipation
13. Alexandria Knows
14. Quite Nonchalant
15. Relief of the Night
16. Crime Pays

Gordon Brisker Big Band - New Beginning (1987)

Tenor saxophonist Gordon Brisker had a rare opportunity to lead a big band for this Discovery LP. Brisker provided all of the arrangements and three of the seven selections, which also include J.J. Johnson's "Lament," "Just One of Those Things" and Wayne Shorter's "Prince of Darkness." Many of Los Angeles' top musicians of the period are heard from, including trumpeters Steve Huffsteter and Bob Summers, altoists Bob Sheppard and Kim Richmond, pianist John Beasley and drummer Victor Lewis (imported from the East Coast). Fine advanced straight-ahead big band music. - Scott Yanow

Gordon Brisker (tenor sax, arranger)
Carl Saunders, Steve Huffsteter, Bob Summers (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Eric Culver, Randall Aldcroft (trombone)
Bob Sheppard, Kim Richmond, Doug Webb, James Germann (reeds)
John Beasley (piano)
Bob Bowman (bass)
Victor Lewis (drums)
  1. New Beginning
  2. Be My Love
  3. No Matter Where You Are
  4. Prince of Darkness
  5. Play Song
  6. Nimbus
  7. Just One of Those Things
  8. Lament
  9. In the Land of the Snake People
  10. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
  11. Scat
Recorded April 24 & 25, 1987

Johnny Smith - 1954 Walk, Don't Run!

Altough "Moonlight In Vermont", recorded with Stan Getz, allowed Johnny Smith to become famous, this 1954 session is his masterpiece. Originally the first 13 songs appeared as two 10" LPs (In A Sentimental Mood and In A Mellow Mood), showing an innovative guitarist with an astonishing technique. The closing song ("Lullaby Of Birdland") is an early experience of overdubbing guitar, with Smith playing a duet with himself. The record has been remastered in 24 bit from the original mono tapes.
"Walk, Don't Run", a Johnny Smith original, became a Top Ten hit for The Ventures six years later.

01. Walk, Don't Run! 2:48
02. Sophisticated Lady 3:03
03. I'll Remember April 2:48
04. What's New 3:06
05. How About You? 2:46
06. In A Sentimental Mood 2:32
07. Stranger In Paradise 2:37
08. Someone To Watch Over Me 2:16
09. Easy To Love 3:17
10. Lover Man 2:28
11. Autumn In New York 2:44
12. 'S Wonderful 2:25
13. Our Love Is Here To Stay 2:18
14. Lullaby Of Birdland 3:05

Johnny Smith (guitar)
Perry Lopez (guitar)
Arnold Fishkin (double bass)
Don Lamond (drums)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dodo Marmarosa - Pittsburgh, 1958

This was an amazing discovery and enough to warrant a fresh look at this remarkable jazzman. The lion's share of the disc is a tape recorded by Danny Conn of Marmarosa playing at the Midway Lounge in Pittsburgh in 1958. Indifferent sound, but the piano comes through clearly, and Marmarosa's powers seem undiminished on a mix of bebop and standards. Even more interesting are three tracks from a 1962 TV broadcast with a quintet led by Conn: "Horoscope, Vigo Movement" and "Dodo's Blues" are intriguing glimpses of how Marmarosa might have developed after bop's heyday. There is also an after-hours tape from a few years earlier by a similar band, including a starkly effective "You're My Thrill". Robert Sunenblick's documentation is superb, with revealing notes on all the musicians and a 1995 interview with Mike Marmarosa (as he preferred to call himself). While this is basically a memoir of bits and pieces, reading through the notes and hearing the music evokes a deeply moving portrait of a community of jazzmen whose efforts will hardly be remembered by posterity, sustained mainly by the rewards of the music itself. ~ Penguin Guide

All of the music on this 1997 CD was previously unissued, and it is a major find. The legendary but troubled bop pianist Dodo Marmarosa recorded very little after the late 1940s (other than a few dates in the early 1960s), and he has a relatively slim discography for a player of his stature. The bulk of the release is taken from a 1958 live trio date in which Marmorosa is joined by a couple of local Pittsburgh musicians, bassist Danny Matri and drummer Henry Sciullo. The pianist shows plenty of brilliance on the boppish standards, including "Moose the Mooche," "Always," "Cherokee" and "Billie's Bounce." Also on this CD are three numbers from a 1962 radio show (probably Dodo's last recordings) in which Marmarosa interacts with a quintet on some fairly modern tunes, along with a trio number from 1956 and two selections with a quintet in 1957. Overall, the recording quality is decent, while the playing is quite special. An extra bonus are the extensive liner notes, which include a 1995 interview with Marmarosa, plus the decision to lead off the CD with a brief excerpt from the talk. Highly recommended to bop collectors. ~ Scott Yanow

Dodo Marmarosa (piano)
Carlo Galluzzo (tenor sax)
Danny Conn (trumpet)
Danny Mastri (bass)
Henry Sciullo (drums)

1. Introduction By Dodo Marmaroso
2. Moose the Mooche
3. Always
4. Cheek To Cheek
5. Robbin'S Nest
6. Topsy
7. Cherokee/ Sweet Miss Theme
8. A Fine Romance
9. Body & Soul Fragment
10. Billie's Bounce
11. Cheers Fragment
12. This Can't Be Love
13. Sweet Miss Theme
14. Horoscope Virgo Movement
15. Oblivion
16. Dodo's Blues
17. I've Never Been In Love Before
18. You're My Thrill
19. Dodo's Blues

Antonio Carlos Jobim - Tide (1970)

This is a instrumental only LP Jobim released just after Stone Flower. There were only two old songs: a relecture of Girl from Ipanema and "Carinhoso", a Brazilian standard. Although none of the other tracks became very famous, the whole record is very nice, and I thought that bring to people some lesser known works of a first class composer was a good enough reason to upload this record.
Review by Richard S. Ginell
On Jobim's second A&M album, Eumir Deodato takes over the chart-making tasks, and the difference between him and Claus Ogerman is quite apparent in the remake of "The Girl From Ipanema": the charts are heavier, more dramatic, and structured. Sometimes the arrangements roll back so one can hear, say, the dancing multi-phonic flute of wildman Hermeto Pascoal on "Tema Jazz," and the rhythms often veer away from the familiar ticking of the bossa nova. Jobim is his usual understated self, adding very subtle electric piano to his arsenal of acoustic piano and guitar, but the material sometimes falls short of Jobim's tip-top level (dead giveaway: "Tide" is a clever rewrite on the chord changes of "Wave"). Still, it's beautifully made and very musical at all times.

1- Girl from Ipanema (Jobim-Vinicius)
2- Carinhoso (Pixinguinha-João de Barro)
3- Tema Jazz (Jobim)
4- Sue Ann (Jobim)
5- Remember (Jobim)
6- Tide (Jobim)
7- Takatanga (Jobim)
8- Caribe (Jobim)
9- Rockanalia (Jobim)

Antonio Carlos Jobim - Piano, Electric Piano, Guitar
Jerry Dodgion - Alto sax on Girl from Ipanema
Joe Farrell - Bass Flute on Carinhoso and Caribe; Soprano Sax in Caribe
Hermeto Pascoal - Flute on Tema Jazz
Ron Carter - Bass
Arranger - Eumir Deodato
Recorded in Van Gelder Studios, May, 1970.

American Composers Orchestra - Four Symphonic Works by Duke Ellington

Maurice Peress and the American Composers Orchestra are joined by some elite soloists to set down estimable recordings of four of Duke Ellington’s suites - two well known and two markedly less so.

The best known of the quartet, Black, Brown and Beige, has been orchestrated by Peress. We can hear what has to be the baritone saxophone of Joe Temperley in this one, whose evocation of Harry Carney is appropriate yet manages to retain total tonal independence of the illustrious model. Temperley – and Eugene Moye, the cello principal of the orchestra and Walt Weiskopf, the alto player in the orchestra – are not mentioned on the jewel box credits but they are noted in the booklet. Richard Chamberlain cleaves closer to Tricky Sam Nanton in his role and altoist Frank Wess, very much his own man, takes the Johnny Hodges role. It’s true that the orchestral garb can somewhat blunt the pungency of the Ellington scoring but this alternative look at one of Ellington’s most impressive, albeit most contentious, scores is splendidly realised on its own terms.

Three Black Kings was once written off by James Lincoln Collier – himself no stranger to controversy – as "movie music." What I think got to Collier was the rather generic, piecemeal quality of this ballet suite. Ellington’s three songs here were King of the Magi, King Solomon and Martin Luther King and the soloist is Jimmy Heath on tenor and soprano saxophones. There are some feints toward the exotic East and everything – not least Heath’s articulate playing – is exceptionally pleasant. But I’m with Collier here – the music lacks real distinction; it’s fluent but melodically uninvolving and strangely naïve for Ellington. It’s no great surprise to realize that it was left incomplete on Ellington’s death.

New World a-Comin’ is like Black, Brown and Beige another wartime work, again heard here in Peress’ revision. Roland Hanna takes the Ellingtonian piano part, which has been transcribed from the 1943 concert performance; Hanna though improvises the final cadenza. There’s also an excellent solo from clarinetist Stephen Hart. Finally there is Harlem – for Jazz Band and Orchestra perhaps the most impressive, because the most sheerly integrated, of all. There is a stellar quartet of soloists to attend this one and they play with tremendous awareness and control. The seamless quality of Harlem is certainly apparent in this tremendous performance – the variety of moods and textures; the stylistic variety; and that drum solo, played with verve by Butch Miles. And to have alongside you, Jon Faddis, Ron Carter and clarinettist Bill Easley is no bad thing.

The recording quality back in 1989 was – and remains – first class and we also have the advantage of Peress’ own sleeve notes. Symphonic Ellington strides confidently in this release. -- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

Maurice Peress (conductor)
Frank Wess, Walt Weiskopf (alto sax)
Jimmy Heath (tenor, soprano sax)
Joe Temperley (baritone sax)
Stephen Hart (clarinet)
Jon Faddis (trumpet)
Richard Chamberlain (trombone)
Eugene Moye (cello)
Sir Roland Hanna (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Butch Miles (drums)
  1. Black, Brown and Beige
  2. Three Black Kings
  3. New World a-Comin'
  4. Harlem, for Jazz Band and Orchestra

Jay McShann - 1941-1943 (Chronological 740)

Twenty-one sides cut by Jay McShann and His Orchestra and the Jay McShann Quartet for Decca Records between 1941 and 1943, with Charlie Parker on about half of what's here, and stretching out on a handful of cuts. The highlight is the group's recording of "Confessin' the Blues," which was a huge hit and resulted in their recording of more than half a dozen similar vocal blues numbers, featuring Walter Brown (who wrote "Confessin'") on vocals. The material here is pretty much weighted to jump blues and boogie-woogie-style numbers, all of it hot and extraordinarily well-played. The pity is, between Decca's insistence on more songs like "Confessin' the Blues" (which was later covered by Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, among others) and the 1942 recordings band, not much of McShann's repertory or Parker's more outstanding material from the period was laid down. What is here, however, is extraordinary, some of the tighted, bluesiest jazz you'll ever here, all in excellent sound as well, and Parker does soar on a large handful of these tracks. ~ Bruce Eder

Jay McShann (piano)
Charlie Parker (alto sax)
Pual Quinichette (tenor sax)
Al Hibbler (vocal)
Gene Ramey (bass)
Doc West (drums)

1. Swingmatism
2. Hootie Blues
3. Dexter Blues
4. Vine Street Boogie
5. Confessin' The Blues
6. Hold 'Em Hootie
7. One Woman's Man
8. 'Fore Day Rider
9. So You Won't Jump
10. New Confessin' The Blues
11. Red River Blues
12. Baby Heart Blues
13. Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay
14. Hootie's Ignorant Oil
15. Lonely Boy Blues
16. Get Me On Your Mind
17. The Jumpin' Blues
18. Sepian Bounce
19. Say Forward, I'll March
20. Wrong Neighborhood
21. Hometown Blues

Charles Mingus - East Coasting

Charles Mingus' East Coasting, originally released in 1957, was overshadowed by the session that preceded it, New Tijuana Moods (which wasn't released until 1962), and 1959's monumental Mingus Ah Um, both of which used essentially the same musicians (Jimmy Knepper on trombone, Clarence Gene Shaw on trumpet, Shafi Hadi (aka Curtis Porter) on tenor and alto sax, Dannie Richmond on drums, Mingus on bass, and for East Coasting, a young, pre-Miles Davis Bill Evans on piano). But although East Coasting is both more subdued and mainstream, at least for Mingus, than either of those more celebrated albums, it has more than enough of its own charm to go around. The opening cut, a version of the 1930s standard "Memories of You," seems a bit out of place on this set, although it exhibits a marvelous and haunting smoothness, and proves that when Mingus chose to, he could play the mainstream game as well as any of his contemporaries. The center of this set is undoubtedly the ten-minute-plus "West Coast Ghost," which is as autobiographical as it is impressive. Mingus, of course, wasn't particularly "East Coast" or "West Coast" in his jazz leanings, being really more of his own coast altogether, but on East Coasting he comes as close as he ever would to reconciling his sense of post-bop jazz with the general public's perception of it, making this one of his most accessible albums. This reissue adds alternate takes of "Memories of You" and "East Coasting." ~ Steve Leggett

Charles Mingus (bass)
Bill Evans (piano)
Shafi Hadi (alto, tenor sax)
Jimmy Knepper (trombone)
Clarence Gene Shaw (trumpet)
Dannie Richmond (drums)

1. Memories Of You
2. East Coasting
3. West Coast Ghost
4. Celia
5. Conversation
6. Fifty-First Street Blues
7. East Coasting (alt)
8. Memories Of You (alt)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Art Blakey - Night In Tunisia

Not to be confused with the earlier Art Blakey Blue Note album with the same name, this studio date recorded in Japan has languished somewhat in obscurity, perhaps because it revisits three songs well established by earlier and better known editions of the Jazz Messengers. Clocking in at just under 35 minutes, it's a little brief for a CD, but the music is first rate. The lineup features alto saxophonist Bobby Watson, pianist James Williams, and some musicians who haven't recorded nearly as extensively since leaving Blakey, including the Russian trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, tenor saxophonist David Schnitter, and bassist Dennis Irwin. The title track is a long one at 18 minutes, but none of the soloists run out of ideas and the rhythm section keeps the fires burning. Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'" is in good hands with Williams at the keyboard, as he is every bit as soulful. Blakey drives his band with a skilled introduction to "Blues March," though the ensemble passages seem a tad ragged. Although it can't be considered an essential Blakey CD, this now unavailable release is worth acquiring by fans of hard bop if found for a reasonable price. ~ Ken Dryden

Art Blakey (drums)
David Schnitter (tenor sax))
Valery Ponomarev (trumpet)
Robert Watson (alto sax)
James Williams (piano)
Dennis Irwin (bass)

1. A Night in Tunisia
2. Moanin'
3. Blues March

Victor Studio, Tokyo: February 12, 1979

Kenny Burrell - 'Round Midnight

This was requested some time ago, I think.

Here's how cool Kenny Burrell is - - far from making this 1972 session sound hopelessly dated, the Fender Rhodes electric piano played here by Richard Wyands actually sounds hip. In part that's due to the sound of the album as a whole. Drummer Lenny McBrowne relies as much on brushes as on sticks, the material leans to late-night and relaxed, and Burrell himself conjures up his perfect tone, an elusive combination of warmth, clarity, and snap.

Even when the quartet serves up the gentle R&B of "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" there's nothing lame or forced about it. Maybe it's the upright bass and ride cymbal work underpinning everything. Joe Sample and Paul Humphrey sit in on Fender Rhodes and drums, respectively, for the title cut, which is the kind of deep blue tune Burrell has excelled at since his early days on Prestige. "I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life," performed as a trio without piano, is the most extroverted tune of the set, while "Blues in the Night" is its solo chord-melody outing. As usual, Burrell is an articulate, soulful, and tasteful improviser throughout.

Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Richard Wyands (piano)
Joe Sample (piano)
Reggie Johnson (bass)
Lenny McBrowne (drums)
Paul Humphrey (drums)

1. A Streetcar Named Desire
2. Make Someone Happy
3. 'Round Midnight
4. I Think It's Going To Rain Today
5. Since I Fell For You
6. I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life
7. Blues In The Night

Eric Watson /John Lindberg-the memory of water 1996

I cant find a review of this fine duo record online so .. heres a bit of info.
John Lindberg one of the great bassists /composers to emerge out of the Loft scene in N.Y.C in the mid 70's is probably to the considerable detriment of his own concentrated output , too often remembered as Anthony braxton'S bassist of choice from the late 70's and mid 80's.

his series of great albums for black saint /soulnote are for me among the gems of the "post free " era. while still a teenager he was playing with the likes of Jimmy Lyons ,Roscoe Mitchell and Sunny Murray. As far as i know he was a close personnal friend and student of David Izenzon.. to whom he dedicated the magnificent solo album luminescence .

watson and Lindberg have quite an extensive shared working history.. apart from their own projects they recorded a couple of great ones with Steve Lacy (THE AMIENS CONCERT) and John Carter.

the following is a biographical extract scouced online about Watson
"When Eric Watson moved to Paris in 1978, he was already a strikingly original pianist, as his adopted country soon discovered. His touch, with its infinite variety of nuances, established him as a distinguished international performer destined to share his musical innovation with audiences all over the world.

Born in the U.S. in 1955, Mr. Watson is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied classical piano, composition, and jazz improvisation. As a composer-performer he has constantly stretched the cumbersome boundaries between written and improvised music. He lends spontaneity to composition, and discipline to improvisation – while perpetually developing a new and fiercely independent musical language.

Known for his predilection for small groups of 2 to 4 musicians, Mr. Watson has collaborated with some of the most distinguished artists of his era: Paul Motian, Steve Lacy, Ray Anderson, John Lindberg, Joëlle Léandre, Albert Mangelsdorff, Daniel Humair and Linda Sharrock,Martial Solal among many others.

He is also considered by many to be the ideal interpreter of Charles Ives’ solo piano music, a reputation acquired through an impressive array of recordings as well as numerous solo recitals throughout Europe.”

Blues in the Mississipi Night- 1946

"There's a sentimental 1920s show tune called ''The Birth of the Blues'' which, if you believe its lyrics, would have you think the blues arose from ''the breeze in the trees.'' This album tells a different story.
In 1946, folklorist Alan Lomax sat down in a New York recording studio with three bluesmen from the Mississippi delta, Memphis Slim, Big Bill Broonzy, and Sonny Boy Williamson. ''Listen,'' he said. ''You all have lived with the blues all your life, but nobody here understands them. Tell me what the blues are all about.''
The answer came in a conversation so intense that, as Lomax writes in notes to Blues in the Mississippi Night, the three musicians ''really forgot that I was there as they talked, played, and sang together.'' The blues, they agreed, came from trouble. And the source of that trouble, as they quietly set it forth, was the domination of black people by white. For these three men, white supremacy was not a theoretical proposition. Every black person they knew in the South lived with it daily. White people worked them till they dropped, cheated them in stores, and killed them outright on the rare occasions when they complained. ''The fact of the business,'' Broonzy sums up on the recording, is that ''back in those days a Negro didn't mean no more to a white man than a mule.''
There's music on the album: elegant piano boogie from Memphis Slim, wise guitar blues from Broonzy, and quirky harmonica from Williamson, plus chants and songs Lomax recorded in black churches and prisons and inserted into the conversation as examples of the folk music from which blues emerged. Early on there are an extraordinary few minutes when Slim plays piano while the three men converse, creating an interplay so fluid it's hard not to hear the talk as part of the music, and the music as part of the talk.
But above all this recording is a devastating social document (though inextricably linked to the history of music). It surfaced for the first time only in the late '50s -- and then with the musicians' names removed. ''If these records came out on us,'' the bluesmen told Lomax after the interview, ''they'd take it out on our folks down home; they'd burn them out and Lord knows what else.'' Now the album is available with all its participants identified.
Unforgettable vignettes include Memphis Slim's description of men reading copies of a forbidden Chicago black newspaper in the back room of a restaurant, while a lookout kept watch through a peephole. There are abrupt, chilling parallels with stories that surface in current rap music. Memphis Slim recalls that black farm workers were free to kill anyone they liked, ''so long as he's colored''; rapper Ice-T has repeatedly said that gang members in Los Angeles black communities are in practice given much the same freedom. Broonzy tells stories of poor blacks shot during crap games; rapper Ice Cube tells remarkably similar stories in a song on his hit album ''AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted.'' Any rapper who heard ''Blues in the Mississippi Night'' could be forgiven for thinking that, even after 50 years, life in poor black communities in some ways hasn't changed.
Rykodisc has packaged this album with simple dignity. Included is a 72-page booklet containing the full text of the conversation and illustrated with photographs of poor Southern blacks living the kind of life the three bluesmen describe. There's no picture on the cover; instead, there's a brief paragraph describing the once-suppressed history of the blues that the three men's conversation recounts. ''No black before them had ever dared to tell this story,'' the paragraph concludes, ''and no one since has told it with more eloquence.''
Greg sandow

Most of this disc is comprised of interviews ,and conversations between Alan Lomax and the above mentioned bluesmen... not much music , a few very spontaneous performances ..
Ive included the 70 page booklet in the files , note that it is very water damaged.
that doesn't effect the legibility of the notes..see the above image.

Friday, September 26, 2008

.....more Fusion Friday/early Saturday

Ed Mann - Get Up (1988)

No review......apparently out of print CD release from former Frank Zappa percussionist.

Ed Mann (marimba, vibes, electronic mallet, Keyboards & percussion)
Chad Wackerman (acoustic & electronic drums)
Mike Hoffman (guitar)
Doug Lunn (bass)
Bruce Fowler (trombone)
Walt Fowler (trumpet & flugelhorn)
Xander Mann (guest vocalist [Get Up])

1. This is Tomorrow
2. Shattered Illusion
3. God Saves the Elephants
4. Get Up
5. By Chance
6. The Final Tone


Did somebody say Benny Bailey?

Kenny Clarke - Complete Swing Master Takes 1946-1950

"...As for Kenny's contribution to these, there were fewer bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe in the preceding years. His distinctive accents are evident on every track and given the relative anonymity of the settings it is Clarke one tends to listen to on most of these tracks. The September 1946 session was recorded in New York City with Fats Navarro (in stunning form), Kenny Dorham, Sonny Stitt and two other saxophonists. It's easily the best date covered by these sets." ~ Penguin Guide

Kenny Clarke (drums)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Fats Navarro (trumpet)
Benny Bailey (trumpet)
Sonny Stitt (alto sax)
Bud Powell (piano)

1. Epistrophy
2. 52nd Street Theme
3. Oop Bop Sh-Bam
4. Rue Chaptal
5. Confirmation
6. Colette
7. Jumpin' There
8. Jay Mac
9. Lover Man
10. Small Bag
11. I'm Sorry
12. Hard to Get
13. Ralph Goes
14. I've Got Be Bop
15. All the Things You Are
16. Algerian Cynicism
17. Laurenzology
18. Doria
19. I'll Tell You in Any Time
20. Working Eyes
21. Stuffy
22. Man I Love
23. I Surrender, Dear
24. I'll Get You Let
25. Be Good, Girl

Kenny Clarke - Meets The Detroit Jazzmen

This has also appeared as Kenny Burrell - Jazzmen Detroit (also a Savoy release), but this differs in being the original and having an extra tune, the Clarke-written Tricrotism, which is associated more with Lucky Thompson.

Drummer Kenny Clarke, who was the first to record with Cannonball Adderley, was an underrated talent scout. On this album, Clarke utilizes bassist Paul Chambers and three relative unknowns who had recently arrived in New York from Detroit: baritonist Pepper Adams, pianist Tommy Flanagan and guitarist Kenny Burrell. During what would be the drummer's last date as a leader before permanently moving to Europe, the quintet performs one original apiece by each of the Detroiters plus four jazz standards. This high-quality hard bop set in 1956 showed that the latest NY imports were already major leaguers. ~ Scott Yanow

Kenny Clarke (drums)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Paul Chambers (bass)

1. You Turned The Tables On Me
2. Your Host
3. Cottontall
4. Apothegh
5. Tricrotism
6. Afternoon In Paris
7. Tom's Thumb

Teddy Wilson - 1936-1937 (Chronological 521)

The solution to Scotty's quandary?: stick to the Chronos. I think this makes the seventh Wilson we've done.

Swing collectors may very well find the Teddy Wilson series on Classics to be a bit troubling for, although it logically reissues all of the great swing pianist's recordings as a leader in order (skipping the alternate takes), many of the sides (those featuring Billie Holiday) are also available on Columbia's complete Lady Day program. This particular CD not only has 16 Holiday vocals (including "The Way You Look Tonight," "Pennies from Heaven," a version of "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" in which she shows off the influence of Louis Armstrong, and four wonderful titles from her first recorded meeting with tenor saxophonist Lester Young) but also three instrumentals and two rarities apiece from singers Red Harper and Midge Williams which are sure to frustrate completists. ~ Scott Yanow

Teddy Wilson (piano)
Lester Young (tenor sax)
Billie Holiday (vocals)
Johnny Hodges (alto sax)
Benny Goodman (clarinet)
Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Lionel Hampton (vibraphone)
John Kirby (bass)
Gene Krupa (drums)

1. You Turned The Tables On Me
2. Sing, Baby, Sing
3. Easy To Love
4. With Thee I Swing
5. The Way You Look Tonight
6. Who Loves You?
7. Pennies From Heaven
8. That's Life I Guess
9. Sallin'
10. I Can't Give You Anytning But Love
11. Right Or Wrong (I'm With You)
12. Where The Lazy River Goes By
13. Tea For Two
14. I'll See You In My Dreams
15. He Ain't Got Rythmn
16. This Year's Kisses
17. Why Was I Born?
18. I Must Have That Man
19. The Mood That I'm In
20. You Showed Me The Way
21. Sentimental And Melancholy
22. (This Is) My Last Affair
23. Carelessly

Friday Fusion

Miles Davis - A Tribute to Jack Johnson

If you're a Miles Davis or fusion fan, it's hard to believe that you don't already have this. But for those who don't, this is one of the seminal fusion albums of the early seventies. I seem to remember the Complete Jack Johnson Sessions being posted at one time but some of you might prefer the original highly edited version.

None of Miles Davis' recordings has been more shrouded in mystery than Jack Johnson, yet none has better fulfilled Miles Davis' promise that he could form the "greatest rock band you ever heard." Containing only two tracks, the album was assembled out of no less than four recording sessions between February 18, 1970, and June 4, 1970, and was patched together by producer Teo Macero. Most of the outtake material ended up on Directions, Big Fun, and elsewhere. The first misconception is the lineup: the credits on the recording are incomplete. For the opener, "Right Off," the band is Miles, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Michael Henderson, and Steve Grossman (no piano player!), which reflects the liner notes. This was from the musicians' point of view, in a single take, recorded as McLaughlin began riffing in the studio while waiting for Miles; it was picked up on by Henderson and Cobham, Hancock was ushered in to jump on a Hammond organ (he was passing through the building), and Miles rushed in at 2:19 and proceeded to play one of the longest, funkiest, knottiest, and most complex solos of his career. Seldom has he cut loose like that and played in the high register with such a full sound. In the meantime, the interplay between Cobham, McLaughlin, and Henderson is out of the box, McLaughlin playing long, angular chords centering around E. This was funky, dirty rock & roll jazz. There is this groove that gets nastier and nastier as the track carries on, and never quits, though there are insertions by Macero of two Miles takes on Sly Stone tunes and an ambient textured section before the band comes back with the groove, fires it up again, and carries it out. On "Yesternow," the case is far more complex. There are two lineups, the one mentioned above, and one that begins at about 12:55. The second lineup was Miles, McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Bennie Maupin, Dave Holland, and Sonny Sharrock. The first 12 minutes of the tune revolve around a single bass riff lifted from James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud." The material that eases the first half of the tune into the second is taken from "Shhh/Peaceful," from In a Silent Way, overdubbed with the same trumpet solo that is in the ambient section of "Right Off." It gets more complex as the original lineup is dubbed back in with a section from Miles' tune "Willie Nelson," another part of the ambient section of "Right Off," and an orchestral bit of "The Man Nobody Saw" at 23:52, before the voice of Jack Johnson (by actor Brock Peters) takes the piece out. The highly textured, nearly pastoral ambience at the end of the album is a fitting coda to the chilling, overall high-energy rockist stance of the album. Jack Johnson is the purest electric jazz record ever made because of the feeling of spontaneity and freedom it evokes in the listener, for the stellar and inspiring solos by McLaughlin and Davis that blur all edges between the two musics, and for the tireless perfection of the studio assemblage by Miles and producer Macero. - Thom Jurek

Miles Davis (trumpet)
Steve Grossman (soprano sax)
Herbie Hancock (keyboards)
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Michael Henderson (bass)
Billy Cobham (drums)
  1. Right Off
  2. Yesternow

VIDEO: Ron Carter Quartet at Le Mans

Ron Carter Quartet at the Le Mans Jazz Festival in 2008. With Stephen Scott at the piano, Payton Crossley and Rolando Morales-Matos on percussion. A DivX file 1400K video 48/320k mp3 audio 2-pass compression. Since the source material was of excellent quality, from a satellite broadcast, you will note that the resulting DivX is far better than some previous posts - quite as good as a DVD, in fact.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sonny Clark RVGTOCJ

Alrighty then; we haven't done one of these sound comparison things in a while. First thing to note, is that Complete refers the CD issue as opposed to the LP issue. All CD issues have the tracks that were left off of the LP. The second title here has them in the order they were recorded.

The point here is that you can compare the Van Gelder remasters ( which are not all uniformly good or bad) with the audiophile Japanese TOCJ release. And now that Flac has become our default, you can actually come to an informed opinion. It is interesting to note that the TOCJ - like the K2 remasters - come in at a smaller file size.

" An immaculately tasteful jazz album and one of the key documents of hard bop." ~ Penguin Guide

1957 was a busy year for the pianist Sonny Clark. Aside from Cool Struttin', he also released six other LPs on Blue Note. His astounding output, however, was cut short due to his premature death in 1963. The highlight of Clark's prolific period must be Cool Struttin', a session featuring a virtual who's who of Blue Note's then-rising young crop of hard-bop stars. The recording opens with the aptly named title cut, as Clark's jaunty, forward-leaning piano drives the tune with crisp precision. The rest of the disc (this edition contains the Rodgers and Hart tune "Lover," which did not appear on the original release) is a sterling example of late-50s, finger-poppin' bop with the likes of trumpeter Art Farmer, saxophonist Jackie McClean, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones stretching out and digging in. ~ S. Duda

Sonny Clark (piano)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Blue Minor
2. Cool Struttin'
3. Royal Flush
4. Sippin' At Bells
5. Deep Night
6. Lover

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey: January 5, 1958

Sonny Stitt - Autumn In New York

This Black Lion CD combines together four selections from a quintet session featuring altoist Sonny Stitt, trumpeter Howard McGhee, pianist Walter Bishop, bassist Tommy Potter and drummer Kenny Clarke (three boppish blues and a Stitt feature on "Lover Man") with four selections showcasing Stitt with unknown accompaniment from a 1962 date at Birdland. The saxophonist recorded so many sessions that it is not necesssary to acquire them all to get a good sampling of his playing (particularly since his style was virtually unchanged after the mid-'50s), but the CD has its heated moments. ~ Scott Yanow

Sonny Stitt (alto sax)
Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Walter Bishop (piano)
Tommy Potter (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. Stardust
2. Cherokee
3. Autumn In New York
4. The Gypsy
5. Loverman
6. Matter Horns
7. Hello
8. Night Work

Zurich: October 18, 1967

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dexter Gordon - Revelation

Dex and Bailey went back together since Central Avenue days. Bailey was long established in Europe when Dex made the move there. So much did he respect him, that when Gordon made his first Columbia session in 1977 he brought Bailey in from Munich to play along with the other trumpet player, Woody Shaw.

Virtually all of tenor-saxophonist Dexter Gordon's SteepleChase recordings find him in prime form. This music, released for the first time in 1995, is a bit unusual in that Gordon (who usually played in a quartet) is joined by the fiery trumpeter Benny Bailey who has a particularly exciting solo on "At Ronnie 's." The obscure European rhythm section is fine in support of the two lead voices who, in addition to "At Ronnie's," perform Bill Barron's "Revelation," a couple of standards and a two-song ballad medley. Worth picking up. ~ Scott Yanow

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Benny Bailey (trumpet)
Lars Sjösten (piano)
Torbjorn Hultcrantz (bass)
Jual Curtis (drums)

1. At Ronnie's/Ballad Medley
2. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
3. I Can't Get Started
4. Days of Wine and Roses
5. Shadow of Your Smile
6. Revelation

Dinah Washington - The Best In Blues

A reissue of a reissue, essentially. The 1957 Mercury LP was a compilation of singles that had been issued by Washington, and is notable for containing her Keynote work - which were, in fact, her first recordings as part of a Lionel Hampton outfit.

This 1997 CD is an expanded reissue of a reissue. The original 1957 record featured the great singer Dinah Washington on a variety of "greatest hits" dating back to 1943. The blues-oriented material included "Evil Gal Blues," "Trouble in Mind," "TV Is the Thing This Year," and "New Blowtop Blues" and was taken from five different sessions spanning a decade. The CD adds three songs and four alternate takes from the same dates; despite what it says on the liners, all of these tracks have been released previously. Despite a few multiple versions, this accessible music serves as a fine introduction to the spirited early style of Dinah Washington. ~ Scott Yanow

Dinah Washington (vocals)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Wardell Gray (tenor sax)
Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Milt Buckner (piano)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax)
Cecil Payne (baritone sax)
Paul Quinichette (tenor sax)
Beryl Booker (piano)
Lionel Hampton (drums, vibraphone)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)

1. Evil Gal Blues
2. I Know How to Do It
3. Baby Get Lost
4. Trouble in Mind
5. Fat Daddy
6. TV Is the Thing This Year
7. Salty Papa Blues
8. New Blowtop Blues
9. Gambler's Blues
10. Don't Hold It Against Me
11. Long John Blues
12. Homeward Bound
13. TV Is the Thing This Year (alt)
14. Baby Get Lost (alt)
15. Good Daddy Blues
16. Good Daddy Blues (alt)
17. Drummer Man
18. Drummer Man
19. Be Fair to Me

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hank Mobley - Another Workout

Reviewers called tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley underrated so many times that the word may as well have been his middle name, and when combined with the numerous financial, personal, and health issues that Mobley endured during his career, it all added up to a middle of the pack position in the jazz canon. He truly deserves a reevaluation. This delightfully warm set was cut on December 5, 1961 with Mobley on tenor sax, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums, and consists of four Mobley compositions and a version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Hello Young Lovers." Mobley's measured, round sax tone binds everything together, and the ballad "I Should Care" is particularly lovely, unfolding gently and surely. Two of the other Mobley compositions, "Getting' and Jettin'" and "Hanks' Other Soul," were revisited, expanded, and arguably improved a year later as "Up a Step" and "East of the Village" respectively, making these 1961 versions essentially sketches, however well done. Although hardly flashy, Another Workout was a solid outing. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Blue Note Records failed to release it until 1985, less than a year before Mobley's death. A nuanced and often beautiful session, the album deserved better, as did Mobley, and underrated doesn't cut it any more. This guy was front-line. ~ Steve Leggett

Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Out Of Joe's Bag
2. I Should Care
3. Gettin' And Jettin'
4. Hank's Other Sou
5. Hello, Young Lovers

Clark Terry - Swahili (1955)

Aside from a three-song session for V-Disc during the late 1940s, this CD contains Clark Terry's first recordings as a leader. Already an alumni of both Charlie Barnet's and Count Basie's bands, and a then-current member of Duke Ellington's orchestra, Terry is more focused on bop in these dates, with a terrific band including trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne, pianist Horace Silver, cellist/bassist Oscar Pettiford, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Art Blakey, with charts by Quincy Jones. The infectious opener, "Swahili," was credited to Jones, though in Carl Woideck's liner notes, Terry remarks that he had a hand in its creation at the date. The loping "Double Play" features both bassists and a fine muted chorus by the leader. The easygoing bopper "Co-Op" was penned by Terry and fellow Ellington sideman Rick Henderson, with pungent statements by the trumpeter and Payne. The brisk blues "Chuckles" is a dazzling finale to his first LP, showcasing Payne and Cleveland before Terry takes over and plays a chorus in each of the 12 keys to wrap things up with a flourish. - Ken Dryden

The Polygram reissue contained four bonus tracks from an album called Cats Vs. Chicks. This rip is from the Lonehill reissue which gives us a bonus of an entire album from a 1954 Jimmy Hamilton session originally released on Uranus Records as Accent on Clarinet. This group was billed as "The New York Jazz Quintet" with Clark Terry as guest soloist. The sextet had no piano, instead using the rhythm guitar of Sidney Gross to comp behind the soloists and interplay of Jimmy Hamilton's clarinet and the guitar of Barry Galbraith.

Clark Terry (trumpet)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Cecil Payne (baritone sax)
Horace Silver (piano)
Oscar Pettiford (bass, cello)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
Quincy Jones (arranger)
Recorded in New York, January 3 & 4, 1955

Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Barry Galbraith (guitar)
Sidney Gross (rhythm guitar)
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Osie Johnson (drums)
Recorded in New York, Late 1954
  1. Swahili
  2. Double Play
  3. Slow Boat
  4. Co-Op
  5. Kitten
  6. The Countess
  7. Tuma
  8. Chuckles
  9. Bohemia After Dark
  10. I Get a Kick Out of You
  11. Blues in My Room
  12. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  13. Chuckles
  14. Blues for Clarinet
  15. Solitude
  16. What am I Here For

John Coltrane - The Bethlehem Years

Ahhhhhhhhhhh....don't say I ain't good to ya. Here's a little gem drawn out of the vaults of OAB, ripped in flac this time, and submitted for your approval. Which I'm sure it will earn. You know I'm a sucker for these smaller labels; where else are you going to be assured of High Fidelity, True High Fidelity, and Micro Cosmic Sound? All three in one package.

The Bethlehem Years is a compilation of sessions John Coltrane made in 1957 for the Bethlehem label, which was a New York–based independent record label active in the 1950s and ’60s. These little-heard recordings, which catch Trane just after he recorded the monumental album Blue Train, offer a revealing look at the sax player in large-group settings; as part of the Poll Winners group and Art Blakey’s Big Band (!!) Taken together, these underexposed recordings add to our understanding and enjoyment of one of the leading figures in modern jazz.

These come, as noted, from that incredible period where Trane was at the top of his profession as a highly prized sideman who had done his apprenticeship with Dizzy and Miles , among others. These are great sounding recordings which feature various alternate takes and studio chatter. The alternates are found on CD 2 so that the serious student can refer to them in sequence, while the more relaxed fan can listen to CD 1 as a discrete release.

Art Blakey Big Band
1,2,5,6, 7
Donald Byrd, Ray Copeland, Bill Hardman, Idrees Sulieman (trumpet)
Jimmy Cleveland, Melba Liston, Frank Rehak (trombone)
Bill Graham, Sahib Shihab (alto sax)
Al Cohn, John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Bill Slapin (baritone sax)
Walter Bishop Jr. (piano)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)

Donald Byrd (trumpet)
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Walter Bishop Jr. (piano)

John Coltrane in the Winners Circle
9 - 12
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Frank Rehak (trombone)
Gene Quill (alto sax 9,11)
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Al Cohn (baritone sax)
Eddie Costa (piano)
Freddie Green (guitar 9)
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums 9)
Ed Thigpen (drums 10,12)
NYC, October, 1957

Wendell Marshall (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
NYC, December, 1957

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Complete Charlie Shavers With Maxine Sullivan

Charlie Shavers was one of the great trumpeters to emerge during the swing era, a virtuoso with an open-minded and extroverted style along with a strong sense of humor. He originally played piano and banjo before switching to trumpet, and he developed very quickly. In 1935, he was with Tiny Bradshaw's band and two years later he joined Lucky Millinder's big band. Soon afterward he became a key member of John Kirby's Sextet where he showed his versatility by mostly playing crisp solos while muted. Shavers was in demand for recording sessions and participated on notable dates with New Orleans jazz pioneers Johnny Dodds, Jimmy Noone, and Sidney Bechet. He also had many opportunities to write arrangements for Kirby and had a major hit with his composition "Undecided." After leaving Kirby in 1944, Charlie Shavers worked for a year with Raymond Scott's CBS staff orchestra, and then was an important part of Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra from 1945 until past TD's death in 1956. Although well-featured, this association kept Shavers out of the spotlight of jazz, but fortunately he did have occasional vacations in which he recorded with the Metronome All-Stars and toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic; at the latter's concerts in 1953, Shaver's trumpet battles with Roy Eldridge were quite exciting. After Dorsey's death, Shavers often led his own quartet although he came back to the ghost band from time to time. During the 1960s, his range and technique gradually faded, and Charlie Shavers died from throat cancer in 1971 at the age of 53. ~ Scott Yanow

The first four selections feature Shavers in a septet with trombonist Benny Morton and clarinetist Hank D'Amico. "Story of the Jazz Trumpet" is narrated by Al "Jazzbo" Collins and has Shavers doing effective impressions of Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Cootie Williams, Ziggy Elman, Harry James and Dizzy Gillespie. The next five numbers are from a one-time reunion of the surviving members of the John Kirby Sextet including clarinetist Buster Bailey and altoist Russell Procope. Some of the old magic from the original group is brought back, and Maxine Sullivan is as wonderful as ever on remakes of two of her folk song hits.

Charlie Shavers (trumpet)
Maxine Sullivan (vocals)
Billy Kyle (piano)
Buster Bailey (clarinet)
Russell Procope (alto sax)
Urbie Green (trombone)

1. Dark Eyes
2. Dawn On The Desert
3. Moten Swing
4. Story Of The Jazz Trumpet
5. Roseroom
6. Flow Gently Sweet Rythm
7. Molly Malone
8. If I Had A Ribbon Bow
9. Windy

Jazz Soundie : Louis Jordan - Fuzzy Wuzzy

Here's another soundie from Louis Jordan & Co., with a dancer no less! Check it out - the world has sure changed in just a single lifetime... An mpeg-2 DVD-quality file captured from satellite TV.

Sonny Clark - Oakland 1955

It has been suggested that you boost the treble for a better sound experience.

This live concert (which was released for the first time on this 1995 CD) features the great pianist Sonny Clark in prime form, in a trio with bassist Jerry Good and drummer Al Randall. The recording quality is a bit primitive (lowering the music's value) but since there are not an excess of Sonny Clark records available, and the pianist's interpretations of the dozen selections (mostly jazz standards) is consistently swinging and inventive, this boppish CD is worth picking up anyway. ~ Scott Yanow

Sonny Clark (piano)
Jerry Good (bass)
Al Randall (drums)

1. What's New
2. Willow Weep For Me
3. There Will Never Be Another You
4. D & E
5. All the Things You Are
6. But Not For Me
7. Bags Groove
8. You Go To My Head
9. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
10. Night In Tunisia
11. Ow
12. Theme

Mocambo Club, Oakland, California: January 13, 1955

Woody Herman and Tito Puente - Herman's Heat & Puente's Beat

Tito Puente and Woody Herman teamed in 1958 for a mutually satisfying meeting in the same way that Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Machito found commond ground in the late '40s. Puente's Latin rhythms and beats meshed with the swing and bebop of Herman's band on half of the disc's cuts, and the results were hot and delightful. With Puente heading the rhythm section and playing timbales, Robert Rodriquez on bass, and assorted percussion from Gilbert Lopez, Raymond Rodriquez, and Ray Barretto, the band stays locked into the Latin groove while the saxophonists and trumpeters weave in, out, and around the beat. There are also more conventional Herman swing numbers such as "Blue Station" and "Woodchopper's Ball," where the standard Herman stomping sound is in effect. ~ Ron Wynn

Woody Herman (clarinet, alto sax)
Tito Puente (timbales)
Al Cohn (tenor sax)
Paul Quinichette (tenor sax)
Ernie Royal (trumpet)
Frank Rehak (trombone)
Ray Barretto (conga)

1. Blue Station
2. Pillar To Post
3. Midnight Sun
4. Woodchoppers Ball
5. Balu
6. Lullaby Of Birdland
7. Latin Flight
8. New Cha Cha
9. Mambo Herd
10. Cha-Cha Chick
11. Tito Meets Woody
12. Carioca

VIDEO: Quincy Jones in Europe 1960

Two performances by the All Star band - and I do mean ALL star - wait 'till you see it - one concert in Belgium, the second in Switzerland. Another program in the so-far very excellent 'Jazz Icons' series. See my earlier posts for others. Again, a DivX video @ 1400k/s 2-pass encoding with 48kHz 320k/s mp3 sound-track.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lester Young - The Master's Touch

Conventional jazz wisdom holds that the recordings Lester Young made after his Army stint are those of a man who is merely a shell of his former highly creative self. Those wishing to fly in the face of that wisdom are hereby instructed to check out this 20-track compilation of recordings made for the Savoy label in 1944, along with four tracks from a 1949 session. Tracks like "Ding Dong," "Crazy Over Jazz," "Salute to Fats," and "Exercise In Swing" (all of which are presented here in multiple takes) show Prez to be in top creative form, playing at brisk tempos with no signs of a faltering technique. Count Basie appears on the 1944 session on a mellow version of "Ghost of a Chance" and a bouncy "Indiana," which also feature Shadow Wilson on drums and Freddy Green's impeccable rhythm guitar work. An April 1944 session finds Prez working in an almost Dixieland surrounding, with Billy Butterfield, Johnny Guarnieri, Hank D'Amico, and Cozy Cole providing the fireworks. A far more modern session from 1949 kicks thing off with Lester fronting a combo that features Junior Mance and Roy Haynes in the rhythm section and Jessie Drakes and Jerry Elliott making a very swinging two-man brass section. "Tush," "Poor Little Plaything" and two takes of "Circus In Rhythm" feature Young in the company of a large band of Basie-ites led by Earl Warren. Some nice Prez originals and lots of great playing out of everyone make this one to add to the collection. ~ Cub Koda

This Savoy compilation features previously unheard recordings by Lester "Pres" Young, one of the greatest tenor saxophonists in jazz history. All taken from sessions recorded in the 1940's, Pres is teamed up with many legends in their own right including trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison and the inimitable pianist/band leader Count Basie.

This album features multiple takes (four versions of "Salute to Fats" for example) in a wide-ranging survey of Young's early to middle years. Standout tracks include "Ding Dong," an uptempo burner that highlights the fine drumming of Cozy Cole and "Blues 'N Bells," a medium bounce that highlights trombonist Jerry Elliot on a short but superb solo. Count Basie's sparse yet melodic piano solo on "Indiana" is also quite majestic. Pres himself shines throughout, but particularly on "Poor Little Plaything" and "Exercise in Swing." The former showcases Young's section work (in a big band) as well as an endearing vocal performance by Earl Warren. A comprehensive look at Young's '40's output, Memorial has many intriguing and memorable musical moments.

Lester Young (tenor sax)
Count Basie (piano)
Tadd Dameron (arranger)
Johnny Guarnieri (piano)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Junior Mance (piano)
Clyde Hart (piano)
Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Billy Taylor, Sr. (bass)
Jo Jones (drums)
Cozy Cole (drums)
Shadow Wilson (drums)

1. Crazy Over Jazz (Take 2)
2. Crazy Over Jazz (Take 3)
3. Ghost Of A Chance (Take 2)
4. Ding Dong (Take 2)
5. Ding Dong (Take 3)
6. Blues 'N Bells (Take 2)
7. Blues 'N Bells (Take 3)
8. Indiana-Original (Take 2)
9. Basie English
10. Salute To Fats (Short Take 2)
11. Salute To Fats (Original Take 5)
12. Exercise In Swing (New Take 3)
13. Exercise In Swing (New Take 4)
14. Circus In Rhythm (Original Take 2)
15. Tush (Original Take 2)
16. Circus In Rhythm (Take 3)
17. Poor Little Plaything (Take 2)
18. Exercise In Swing (Take 2)
19. Salute To Fats (Take 4)
20. Salute To Fats (Take 3)

Frank Martin-concerto for violin and orchestra 1951, in terra pax oratorio,etudes for string orchestra etc

More frank martin ,including definitive performances of some of his major pieces.

“This set brings together 6 of Frank Martin's most beautiful works of the 1940s and 50s, nearly 21/2 hours of some of the finest, most directly communicative music of the past century. There are 5 orchestral works plus his 1st great oratorio, In Terra Pax, composed (on New Testament texts) to celebrate the end of World War II. All but 1 of the performances are under the direction of his great champion, Ernest Ansermet; the 6th, the 1952 string orchestra version of the 1944 Passacaglia for organ, is conducted by its dedicatee, Karl Muenchinger. These are classic versions in every sense. Don't hesitate because 3 of the recordings are in mono: this "basic" collection is a great place to begin finding out why Martin's music is so beloved and admired by those who know it. (If you want a stereo version of his most famous work, the Petite Symphonie Concertante - for harp, harpsichord & piano with double string orchestra - try Edmond de Stoutz's 1992 one on Gallo CD-713, coupled with the finest recent version of Martin's late masterpiece Polyptyque & the early, charmingly wistful Pavane couleur du temps.) Excellent notes, full French-English text for In Terra Pax. Thank you, Decca/London, for keeping this in the catalogue.”

The 4th work originally for organ; the 6th work is an oratorio derived from Biblical texts of Isaiah, the Gospels, and Revelations.
Compact discs.
Eds. recorded: Universal Edition A.G. Vienna.
Durations: 19:01; 18:55; 19:35; 12:24; 29:48; 46:52.
Program notes by Simon Wright in English with German, Italian, and Spanish translations, and by Pierre-E. Barbier in French, and texts of the 6th work with English translation (30 p.) in container.
Recorded: 1951 (3rd work); 1955 (4th-5th works); 1961 (1st-2nd works); 1963 (6th work).
The 6th work sung in French.

Contributors: Ansermet, Ernest, 1883-1969 cnd
Münchinger, Karl cnd
Schneiderhan, Wolfgang, 1915- itr -violin
Buckel, Ursula voc
Höffgen, Marga. voc
Haefliger, Ernst, 1919- voc
Mollet, Pierre. voc
Stämpfli, Jakob, 1934- voc
Martin, Frank, 1890-1974. Concertos, winds, percussion, string orchestra
Martin, Frank, 1890-1974. Études, string orchestra
Martin, Frank, 1890-1974. Petite symphonie concertante
Martin, Frank, 1890-1974. Passacaglia, organ; arr.
Martin, Frank, 1890-1974. Concertos, violin, orchestra
Martin, Frank, 1890-1974. In terra pax
Orchestre de la Suisse romande prf
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester. prf
Union chorale et chœur des dames de Lausanne. prf

Other titles: In terra pax.

Performer: L'Orchestre de la Suisse romande, Ernest Ansermet, conductor (1st-3rd and 5th-6th works) ; Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Karl Münchinger, conductor (4th

Duke Ellington - Black, Brown & Beige: The 1944 Recordings

Black, Brown & Beige chronicles the Victor sides of Ellington's great 1940s ensemble after the death of bass innovator Jimmy Blanton, and the departure of such solo stars as trumpeter Cootie Williams, valve trombonist Juan Tizol, clarinetist Barney Bigard and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. Included are key excerpts from his ambitious extended work, "Black, Brown & Beige," which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1943, marking the beginning of an annual big band event for the Ellington Orchestra. Containing future classics like "Come Sunday," the work was greeted with enthusiastic public acceptance, but critics patronized the great composer, embittering him towards music journalists for the rest of his life. Black, Brown & Beige features such Ellington classics as "Things Ain't What They Used To Be," "Transblucency" and "Midriff" (the latter a contribution by the great composer-arranger Billy Strayhorn, who by this time was functioning very much as Ellington's alter ego).

"...recorded in a period of just 20 months between December 1944 and September 1946, an in-depth portrait of a musical giant immediately following a two-year hiatus from commercial recording due to the musicians' union ban. Since last recording, the orchestra had made its Carnegie Hall debut, performing "Black, Brown, & Beige," Ellington's most ambitious work. Further, his collaboration with orchestrator Billy Strayhorn, begun in 1940, had continued to develop. Ellington had been building a repertoire and an orchestra since the 1920s, and he was answerable to both the demands of popular fashion and his own creative muse. In fact, they were inextricably combined. He required popular success to maintain the orchestra that was the instrument of his most ambitious compositions, and that duality is apparent here....Among the intriguing diversions are two one-piano duets with Strayhorn and a cross-town exchange program that found Ellington and Tommy Dorsey appearing as guest soloists with each other's bands on the same day. Throughout, the band is magnificent, with brilliant section work and a host of stunning soloists. Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, and "Tricky Sam" Nanton had been associates since the '20s, while trumpeters Taft Jordan and Cat Anderson, clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton, and tenor saxophonist Al Sears had been added to the band since they last recorded. It's an engrossing experience for anyone fascinated with Ellington's music and a remarkable window on a brief period in his great career. ~ Stuart Broomer

Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn (arranger, piano)
Ray Nance (vocals, trumpet, cornet, violin)
Al Hibbler, Joya Sherrill, Kay Davis, Marie Ellington, Marian Cox (vocals)
Russell Procope (alto sax, clarinet)
Jimmy Hamilton (tenor sax, clarinet)
Harry Carney (baritone sax, clarinet)
Otto Hardwick, Johnny Hodges (alto sax)
Al Sears (tenor sax)
Rex Stewart, Harold "Shorty" Baker, Taft Jordan, Cat Anderson (trumpet)
Tommy Dorsey, Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Wilbur DeParis (trombone)
Fred Guy (guitar)
Al Lucas, Bob Haggart, Sid Weiss, Alvin Raglin, Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Sonny Greer, Big Sid Catlett (drums)

Jim Hall Trio - Circles (1981)

Most of the music on this date (which emphasizes group originals) features guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Don Thompson and drummer Terry Clarke. The versatile Thompson switches to piano for a duet with Hall on "Circles" and on a quartet version (with Rufus Reid on bass) of "My Heart Sings." Nothing all that exciting or unexpected occurs during the CD reissue (which adds an additional song to the original LP), but virtually all of Hall's recordings (which tend to be harmonically sophisticated and quietly subtle) are worth acquiring. Scott Yanow.


Jim Hall - Guitar
Don Thompson - Piano and bass
Terry Clarke - Drums
Rufus Reid - Bass in "(all of a sudden) my heart sings

1- (All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings (Rome-Jamblan-Herpin)
2- Love Letters (Young-Heyman
3- Down from Antigua (Hall)
4- Echo (Hall)
5- I Can't Get Started (Duke-Gershwin)
6- T.C. Blues (Clarke)
7- Circles (Thompson)
8- Aruba (Hall)
Recorded in New York City, March, 1981.

Contributions 5

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John Coltrane - The Prestige Recordings

This 16-CD set hardly needs an intro, and many jazz fans certainly have at least a few of the original albums. Nevertheless, here it is in LAME 3.98 vbr0 (final version) - 1/3 the size of flac so accessible even to those without lightning-speed DSL connections. The package includes complete scans of the LP-size 32-page book. Trane's Prestige Recordings: the history of a talented tenor saxophonist becoming one of the greatest musicians of all time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Don Redman - For Europeans Only

As noted, one of the first, if not the first, American bands to visit Europe after the Second World War: the floodgates are open. Byas would remain, Dameron would be back with Miles in '49 - an interesting chapter in the history of the music.

The music on this CD reissue is taken from the first visit by an American band to Denmark after World War II. Arranger/singer/altoist Don Redman, who was undertaking his last significant contribution to jazz, led an all-star big band that included such notable stars as trumpeter/vocalist Peanuts Holland, trombonist Quentin Jackson, Tyree Glenn on vibes and trombone, pianist Billy Taylor and the great tenor Don Byas. In fact, Byas enjoyed Europe so much during the tour that he made it his permanent home, only returning to the U.S. once briefly decades later. Byas is the star of several of the numbers (particularly "How High the Moon" and "Laura"), but many of the other sidemen also get some solo space. The music is essentially late-period swing with hints of bop in places, including the Tadd Dameron piece "For Europeans Only." Unfortunately, the recording quality of the privately made acetates is not always the greatest, although the sound and balance is a lot better on the CD than on the earlier LP. Important historic music that has some strong moments. ~ Scott Yanow

Don Redman (vocals, alto sax)
Tadd Dameron (arranger)
Don Byas (tenor sax)
Billy Taylor (piano)
Tyree Glenn (trombone, vibraphone)
Chauncey Haughton (alto sax)
Peanuts Holland (trumpet)
Inez Cavanaugh (vocals)

1. Metronome All Out
2. For Europeans Only
3. Don't Blame Me
4. All the Things You Are
5. Ev'rytime I Feel the Spirit
6. Frantic Atlantic
7. How High the Moon
8. Laura
9. I Got Rhythm
10. Chant of the Weed
11. Dark Glasses
12. Ooh! Ba-Ba-le-Bah
13. My Melancholy Baby
14. Stompin' at the Savoy
15. The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise

Teri Thornton - Sings Open Highway

We know Ms. Thornton from the previously posted early and late albums Devil May Care, and the comeback album of many years later, shortly after which she passed into that bourne from which no chirp ever warbles again.

This was to be her great breakthrough album, but timing and personal issues led it to be the relative obscurity it now is; but it has some very fine moments. There are some of the Basie sidemen/studio stalwarts that appear on Roberta Flack's work years later, and the producer was the excellent Tom Wilson. This is definitely worth looking into.

"...1963 brought her biggest break to date, a contract with Columbia Records. Tony Bennett wrote the liner notes for Open Highway, her only album with the label. "Teri sings with life, feeling, intensity, intelligence, and taste," he said. "She's the first singer in years who doesn't have any gimmicks, any tricks. Instead, she's endowed with perfect pitch, a three-octave range, solid training, and years of invaluable experience. All this has made her create here a great album." The next year, Thornton took part in a two-hour tribute to Duke Ellington in celebration of his 40th anniversary in music on the Today Show. It featured Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald who requested that Thornton join them in singing several Ellington songs accompanied by Billy Strayhorn at the piano."

Teri Thorton (vocals)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Billy Mitchell (tenor sax)
Kai Winding (trombone)
Bobby Scott (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)

1. Open Highway (Route 66 Theme)
2. This Is All I Ask
3. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home
4. You Don't Know
5. Seems Like Old Times
6. Where Are You Running
7. Everytime I Think About You
8. The Day I Stop Loving You
9. Goodbye Is A Lonesome Sound
10. Music, Maestro, Please
11. Born To Be Blue
12. You
13. Why Don't You Love Me
14. Won't Someone Please Belong To Me
15. Where Are You Love
16. To Remember You By
17. Cold, Cold Heart
18. Either Way I Lose
19. The Secret Life

Buster Smith - The Legendary Buster Smith

What the little review below neglects to mention is that Smith really is legendary. A member of the Blue Devils alongside Basie and Prez, he is also supposed to be the uncredited author of 'One O'Clock Jump', the saxophone teacher of Charlie Christian (note Smiths fine guitar playing on this album), and employer, mentor, and elder in the virtual father/son relationship with a 17 year old Charlie Parker. Good notes by Gunther Schuller also.

Alto sax player, arranger, and composer Buster Smith recorded sparingly during his career and this seven-track set, recorded in a single session on June 7, 1959 and released by Atlantic Records a month or two later, was the only album Smith did as a bandleader. It's a low key, pleasant affair featuring five original Smith compositions, including the lightly swinging "Buster's Tune" and the odd, wonderfully disjointed "King Alcohol," as well as versions of Kurt Weill's "September Song" and Will Hudson's "Organ Grinder's Swing." Smith's brother, Boston Smith, played piano at the session. Following a car accident in the early '60s, Smith was unable to continue playing sax and picked up the bass guitar, gigging regularly with various combos on bass in the Dallas area until his death in 1991. ~ Steve Leggett

Buster Smith (alto sax, guitar)
Eddie Cadell (tenor sax)
Leroy Cooper (baritone sax)
Charles Gillum (trumpet)
Clinton Smith (trombone)
Herman Flowers (piano)
Boston Smith (piano)
Josea Smith (bass)
Robert Cobbs (drums)

1. Buster's Tune
2. E-Flat Boogie
3. September Song
4. King Alcohol
5. Kansas City Riffs
6. Late Late
7. Organ Grinder's Swing

Recorded in Fort Worth, Texas on June 7, 1959

Howard McGhee and Tal Farlow - Howard McGhee, Vol. 2 / Tal Farlow Quartet

Among the rarest Blue Note recordings are the ones issued in the early '50s on ten-inch LPs, a format that did not catch on (being quickly overshadowed by twelve-inch LPs). Among the two albums that fell into the cracks were sessions by Howard McGhee (another CD has his initial Blue Note date) and Tal Farlow. This 1998 CD contains all of the music from two former albums. McGhee's half matches the trumpeter with altoist Gigi Gryce (doubling quite effectively on flute), guitarist Farlow, pianist Horace Silver, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Walter Bolden. While that bop-oriented band plays originals by McGhee, Gryce and Bolden (none of which caught on) plus the standard "Goodbye," and is joined by a new alternate take, the main reason to acquire this CD is for the Tal Farlow session. He is joined by second guitarist Don Arnone, bassist Clyde Lombardi and drummer Joe Morello for three standards ("Lover," "Flamingo" and "All Through the Night") plus a trio of the leader's originals during what was Farlow's first recording as a leader. Even at that early stage, Tal Farlow was a giant. ~ Scott Yanow

Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Tal Farlow (guitar)
Gigi Gryce (flute, alto sax)
Horace Silver (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Walter Bolden (drums)

Tal Farlow (guitar)
Don Arnone (guitar)
Clyde Lombardi (bass)
Joe Morello (drums)

1. Jarm
2. Goodbye
3. Futurity
4. Shabozz
5. Tranquility
6. Ittapnna
7. Jarm (Alternate Take)
8. Lover
9. Flamingo
10. Splash
11. Rock 'N' Rye
12. All Through The Night
13. Tina

Wynton Kelly - Full View

Ron McClure replaced Paul Chambers in 1966 and brought an immediate change of dimension to the music. Full View is an excellent record, an eclectic mix of styles and genres, with a much more balanced feel to the trio, not just piano and rhythm. Cobb is an asset, too, with a relaxed springy pulse and the ability to cut in behind the melody line with near-instantaneous response figures. ~ Penguin Guide

Pianist Wynton Kelly's next-to-last set as a leader (he would record a slightly later date for Delmark) featured him at a time when his influence was waning and he was overshadowed by more advanced players. However, Kelly's impact would begin to grow again after his death, when the Young Lions movement began in the early '80s; certainly pianist Benny Green was greatly touched by Kelly's conception. This Milestone trio set, reissued on CD, matches Kelly with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Jimmy Cobb on a fine program mostly filled with standards but also including the then-recent Burt Bacharach hit "Walk on By" and Kelly's original "Scufflin'." ~ Scott Yanow

Wynton Kelly (piano)
Ron McClure (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)

1. I Want A Little Girl
2. I Thought
3. What A Diff'rence A Day Made
4. Autumn Leaves
5. Dontcha Hear Me Callin To Ya
6. On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
7. Scufflin'
8. Born To Be Blue
9. Walk On By

Return Of The Headhunters (1998)

Fusion hits middle age..........

Before it hardened into fusion, jazz rock was a fertile flux, a general meltdown of musical categories – during its brief, early-Seventies heyday, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis were grist for each other's mills. Out of this vortex came jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock's Sextant (1973). Taking his cue from Davis' swirling, anarchic Bitches Brew and On the Corner, Hancock went even further into outer space. Ever the gadget freak, he was an early convert to synthesizers, and much of Sextant, with its twittering, burbling effects, amounts to a primitive version of Nineties ambient music.

A sales flop, Sextant prompted Hancock to own up to his commercial ambitions. In late 1973 he cut the hook-rich Headhunters, one of jazz's all-time best sellers (imagine a jazz album hitting Number Thirteen on today's Billboard album chart!). Remarkably, Hancock hit Number Thirteen again with his follow-up, Thrust. Yet where Headhunters was undergirded by the capable, facile drummer Harvey Mason, Thrust's drummer was jazz-funk genius Mike Clark, a scrawny little fiend who'd rather play music than eat. On extended jams like "Palm Grease" and "Actual Proof," Clark and bassist Paul Jackson are a two-headed computer disgorging off-kilter but irresistibly fat-bottomed licks; Hancock's Fender Rhodes and Bennie Maupin's reeds, meanwhile, dance on the ceiling. Thrust is a great album: brave, risky music making.

Hancock cut a few more albums with Thrust's personnel before he went on his way in 1976. The rest of the band, calling themselves the Headhunters, cut a few first-class funk albums and disbanded. Today, with groove bands like Medeski, Martin and Wood proliferating and hip-hoppers like Mobb Deep sampling Headhunters licks, Hancock has seen fit to give his old mates another shot.

Return of the Headhunters has a surface sheen that Sextant and Thrust (both newly reissued) could never have aspired to but little of those albums' raw fervor. Mike Clark keeps trying to break free, but he's hamstrung by candy-coated synths and generic R&B vocals. Hancock, who guests on four tracks, is content to glide complacently. Live, these guys probably kill. On record (this record, at least), they make you long for the brave experimentation of Sextant, the loose-limbed slip and slide of Thrust. ~ Tony Scherman

1. Funk Hunter
2. Shank I
3. Watch Your Back
4. Frankie and Kevin
5. Premonition
6. Tip Toe
7. Two But Not Two
8. PP Head
9. Kwanzaa
10. 6/8-7/8

Jelly Roll Morton - 1928-1929 (Chronological 627)

This CD traces Jelly Roll Morton's period in New York, starting with his second record date in the Big Apple. A few of the sessions have Morton joined by an excess of musicians, with the results certainly being spirited, if bordering on getting out of control. "Tank Town Bump" and "Red Hot Pepper Stomp" are the best of these numbers. In addition, Morton is heard on four excellent piano solos (including "Seattle Hunch" and "Freakish"), leading a nucleus taken from the Luis Russell Orchestra on four other songs, and playing as a sideman with vaudevillian clarinetist Wilton Crawley's pickup band, sometimes to hilarious effect. One of the true jazz giants, every recording by Jelly Roll Morton is well worth acquiring in one form or another. ~ Scott Yanow

Jelly Roll Morton (piano)
Henry "Red" Allen (trumpet)
Johnny Hodges (alto sax)
Luis Russell (piano)
Pops Foster (bass)
Sonny Greer (drums)

1. Red Hot Pepper
2. Deep Creek
3. Pep
4. Seattle Hunch
5. Frances (Fat Frances)
6. Freakish
7. Burnin' The Iceberg
8. Courthouse Bump
9. Pretty Lil
10. Sweet Aneta Mine
11. New Orleans Bump (Monrovia)
12. Down My Way
13. Try Me Out
14. Tank Town Bump
15. Sweet Peter
16. Jersey Joe
17. Mississippi Mildred
18. Mint Julep
19. You Oughta See My Gal
20. Futuristic Blues
21. Keep Your Business To Yourself
22. She's Got What I Need

Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove

Here's a chance to dance your way out of your constrictions; and anticipating your next question, yes, please feel free to get it on the good foot.

One Nation Under a Groove was not only Funkadelic's greatest moment, it was their most popular album, bringing them an unprecedented commercial breakthrough by going platinum and spawning a number one R&B smash in the title track. It was a landmark LP for the so-called "black rock" movement, best-typified in the statement of purpose "Who Says a Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!"; more than that, though, the whole album is full of fuzzed-out, Hendrix-style guitar licks, even when the music is clearly meant for the dancefloor. This may not have been a new concept for Funkadelic, but it's executed here with the greatest clarity and accessibility in their catalog. Furthermore, out of George Clinton's many conceptual albums (serious and otherwise), One Nation Under a Groove is the pinnacle of his political consciousness. It's unified by a refusal to acknowledge boundaries -- social, sexual, or musical -- and, by extension, the uptight society that created them. The tone is positive, not militant -- this funk is about community, freedom, and independence, and you can hear it in every cut (even the bizarre, outrageously scatological "P.E. Squad"). The title cut is one of funk's greatest anthems, and "Groovallegiance" and the terrific "Cholly" both dovetail nicely with its concerns. The aforementioned "Who Says a Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!" is a seamless hybrid that perfectly encapsulates the band's musical agenda, while "Into You" is one of their few truly successful slow numbers. The original LP included a three-song bonus EP featuring the heavy riff rock of "Lunchmeataphobia," an unnecessary instrumental version of "P.E. Squad," and a live "Maggot Brain"; these tracks were appended to the CD reissue. In any form, One Nation Under a Groove is the best realization of Funkadelic's ambitions, and one of the best funk albums ever released. ~ Steve Huey

1. One Nation Under a Groove
2. Groovallegiance
3. Who Says a Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!
4. Promentalshitbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad (The Doo Doo Chasers)
5. Into You
6. Cholly (Funk Gettin Ready to Roll)
7. Lunchmeataphobia ('Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet')
8. P.E. Squad/Doo Doo Chasers
9. Maggot Brain

James Brown - Messing With The Blues

James Brown - Messing With The Blues

Although he is most famous for his innovations in soul and funk music, James Brown never lost sight of his blues and R&B roots. His albums often placed surprisingly rootsy covers of old chestnuts alongside his groundbreaking polyrhythmic workouts. This double CD compiles 30 of the bluesiest items from his vast recorded legacy. Cut between 1957 and 1985, most of the tracks actually date from the '60s; many of these, in turn, were laid down in the early part of the decade, when J.B. was gradually evolving from his more conventional beginnings. The artists whose songs are covered here read like a who's who of R&B pioneers: Louis Jordan, Roy Brown, Memphis Slim, Ivory Joe Hunter, Fats Domino, Chuck Willis, Little Willie John, Billy Ward, Guitar Slim, and Bobby Bland. It's quite an instructive insight into Brown's not-always-visible roots. It would be fair to say that this does not rank among his most exciting material, finding him in a smoother and more conventional style than his most innovative work. It is nonetheless always entertaining and accomplished, with Brown's love for this material shining through strongly in his committed interpretations. Especially intriguing are an 11-minute cover of Chuck Willis' "Don't Deceive Me" and a two-part, blues-based rap vamp from the early '70s, "Like It Is, Like It Was (The Blues)." The disc includes several unreleased cuts, alternate takes, and unedited versions of previously released songs. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Thursday, September 18, 2008

James Brown - Soul On Top

James Brown meets Oliver Nelson and Louis Bellson? Yep, and you can decide for yourself if it works. Remarkable, though, the influence of Ray Charles; he single-handedly made "Your Cheatin' Heart" a jazz tune.

If Count Basie had hired James Brown to replace Joe Williams as his featured male vocalist, what would the results have sounded like? Brown offers some suggestions on Soul On Top, which finds the Godfather of Soul making an intriguing detour into jazz-minded big-band territory. Recorded in 1969 and reissued on CD in 2004, Soul On Top unites Brown with the Basie-influenced orchestra of jazz drummer Louie Bellson -- and stylistically, the results are somewhere between soul-funk and the funkier side of big-band jazz. This Brown/Bellson collaboration isn't straight-ahead jazz; nor is it typical of Brown's late-'60s output. But if recording a big-band project with Bellson was a surprising and unexpected thing for the Godfather of Soul to do in 1969, it was hardly illogical or bizarre -- Brown, after all, grew up listening to jazz (as well as blues and gospel) and was well aware of the legacies of Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, and others. Besides, jazz and R&B are closely related. While some jazz snobs would have listeners believe that jazz and R&B have little if anything in common, the fact is that they're close relatives that get much of their energy and feeling from the blues. So it makes perfect sense for Brown to combine soul, funk, and jazz on this album, which finds him revisiting some major hits (including "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World") in addition to embracing "September Song," "That's My Desire," and other standards that one typically associates with jazz and traditional pop. Although not among the Godfather's better-known efforts, this fine album is happily recommended to anyone who holds R&B and jazz in equally high regard. ~ Alex Henderson

James Brown (vocals)
Buddy Collette (tenor sax)
Pete Christlieb (tenor sax)
Maceo Parker (tenor sax)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Ray Brown (bass)
Louie Bellson (drums)
Oliver Nelson (arranger, conductor)

1. That's My Desire
2. Your Cheatin' Heart
3. What Kind Of Fool Am I?
4. It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World
5. The Man In The Glass
6. It's Magic
7. September Song
8. For Once In My Life
9. Everyday I Have The Blues
10. I Need Your Key (To Turn Me On)
11. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
12. There Was A Time

Tubby Hayes –live in London 1963-4

Heres a wonderful compilation of live tubby, who as a child prodigy started gigging in his teens.
Some of this is a bit flat sounding by the standards of the day..but its generally well recorded.
Great version of “weaver of dreams” and there are moments that border on harmonic freedom on “opus ocean” the Clark Terry composition written specifically for Tubby during an earlier American sojourn the four minute solo on that track where the band lays out is incredible.

This is probably quite tough to find ,and theres not much info about it on the net.
I hope im not duplicating anyones efforts here Ive searched this blog hard and ..nothing has come up.
Also features an interview by Les Tompkins conducted in 1963.

The personnel varies (the disc is culled from 3 different gigs)
Jimmy Deuchar , is featured on trpt, on opus ocean..probably the most exiting track on the album.
Other players include the great Allan ganeley on drums, Jeff Clyne –db, and Gordon Beck on piano..among others.
I cant find a review of this .. online ..barely a mention
Tracks Are
1) intro by Ronnie scott
2) opus ocean
3) weaver of dreams
4) nobody else but me
5) on green dolphin street
6) by myself
7) interview
there is a volume 2 of this in existence purportedly… I don’t have it but would very much like to.

Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant - Stratosphere Boogie: The Flaming Guitars of Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant

Fans of country and jazz guitar will discover two new idols after delving into this 16-track collection, which features the best of the genre-shattering sessions recorded by this legendary duo. Between Bryant's jazzy, lightning-fast leads and West's brash, groundbreaking pedal steel work, the two recorded some of the most astounding instrumental country music of all time. Whether it's the hilarious "Sleepwalker's Lullaby" or top-fuel classics like "Old Joe Clark" and "Arkansas Traveler," the pair's 1950s records were among the most experimental music being made anywhere in America. It doesn't hurt to add that they were extremely influential, and one spends nearly as much time laughing along with these songs as they do trying to figure out how the hell anyone ever got this good. ~ Jim Smith

These 16 sides were selected from the more than 50 that guitarist Bryant and pedal steel player West cut in Los Angeles between 1951 and 1956, when they were also most in demand as country--and occasionally pop--session men. Forty years later, these are still considered the hottest, most fully realized, most musical instrumentals in the history of country. West's slashing, muscular steel lines send out sparks, while Bryant's bop-influenced, breakneck guitar cuts clean as a scalpel. Using the guitar-steel pairings of Western swing as a jumping-off point, these guys created a jazzy body of work that many guitarists are still trying to decipher. ~ John Morthland

Speedy West (pedal steel)
Jimmy Bryant (guitar, fiddle)
Jimmy Widener, Billy Strange (guitar)
Les Taylor, Billy Liebert (piano)
George Bruns, Al Williams, Cliffie Stone (bass)
Roy Harte, Pee Wee Adams (drums)

1. Stratosphere Boogie
2. Blue Bonnet Rag
3. Cotton Pickin'
4. Old Joe Clark
5. Sleepwalker's Lullaby
6. Arkansas Traveler
7. The Night Rider
8. Low Man On A Totem Pole
9. Speedin' West
10. Comin' On
11. Bryant's Bounce
12. Midnight Ramble
13. Pickin' Peppers
14. Shuffleboard Rag
15. Bustin' Thru
16. Flippin' The Lid

Recorded at Capitol Studios and Capitol Tower, Los Angeles, California from May 6, 1952 to October 9, 1956

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Simmer, Reduce, Garnish & Serve

Review by Scott Yanow

This single CD has selections from Rahsaan Roland Kirk's final three albums. His work on his last record Boogie-Woogie String Along for Real was quite heroic and miraculous because he had suffered a major stroke that greatly limited his abilities; in fact Kirk had the use of only one of his hands so his playing was sadly restricted. There is a remarkable amount of variety plus a liberal dose of Kirk's humor on this retrospective, ranging from a "Bagpipe Medley" and "Sweet Georgia Brown" (complete with a whistler and Freddie Moore's washboard) to a warm "I'll Be Seeing You" and a tribute to Johnny Griffin, the main influence on Rahssan's tenor sound. For those listeners who do not already have the three LPs, this is a strong best-of sampler of the saxophonist's final period although his earlier recordings are recommended first. This CD concludes with an emotional and rather touching collage that pays tribute to Kirk's genius and mourns his premature death.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Americans In Europe, Vol. 2 (1963) [LP]

One of a thousand rubies recently posted by Rab was a concert by the Don Redman Orchestra during their post-WW II European tour. That inspired me to dig out this album which features two of the musicians from that band, Don Byas and Peanuts Holland. Both of them decided to stay in Europe - Byas in Amsterdam and Holland in Paris.

Byas is at the peak of his powers here and his two features take up the entire second side of the LP. A lot of people would say he sounds like a mix of Coleman Hawkins and Charlie Parker but I think he sounds like.....Don Byas! Also featured on the quintet tracks are Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Jimmy Woode on bass, Joe Harris on drums, and a lucid Bud Powell with his right hand boppin' along.

"This is the second of two LPs documenting a 1963 concert in which many of the top American jazzmen who were living in Europe participated. While all of Vol. 1 has been reissued on CD, only the two numbers from tenor-saxophonist Don Byas on this album were included. Byas tears apart "All the Things You Are" with the assistance of trumpeter Idrees Sulieman and pianist Bud Powell and is excellent on "I Remember Clifford." Otherwise clarinetist Albert Nicholas leads a trad sextet for two songs and takes "Rose Room" as a feature, blues pianist/vocalist Champion Jack Dupree is featured on "Wine, Whiskey and Gin Head Women" and Curtis Jones sings the blues on "Lots of Talk for You." - Scott Yanow

Albert Nicholas (clarinet)
Nelson Williams, Peanuts Holland (trumpet on 1 & 2)
Earle Howard (piano) Jimmy Woode (bass) Kansas Fields (drums)

1. My Buddy Run Rabbits
2. Why Daughter How Are You
3. Rose Room

Champion Jack Dupree (piano, vocals)
Bob Carter (bass) Joe Harris (drums)

4. Wine, Whiskey and Gin Head Woman

Curtis Jones (piano, vocals)
Bob Carter (bass) Joe Harris (drums)

5. Lots of Talk for You

Don Byas (tenor sax)
Idrees Sulieman (trumpet on 6)
Bud Powell (piano) Jimmy Woode (bass) Joe Harris (drums)

6. All the Things You Are
7. I Remember Clifford

Recorded on January 3, 1963 in Koblenz, Germany

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stan Getz - In Sweden 1958-60

Things in Getz' personal life were calling for a change, and he headed for Scandinavia were he'd found receptive audiences and fans earlier in the decade. He was at the top of his game; the only limitations were in the quality of his sidemen, all of whom were adequate, and in the case of some - like Lars Gullin - quite excellent. Been noticing Benny Bailey around here recently?

Stan Getz spent several years living in Scandinavia in the late '50s where he flourished while being a bit forgotten in the U.S. This double-CD improves upon the original Dragon double-LP by adding three previously unreleased radio appearances. Getz is heard in a nonet with trumpeter Benny Bailey, trombonist Ake Persson and baritonist Lars Gullin and in quartets with either Jan Johansson or Bosse Soderman on piano. The music is essentially cool-toned and swinging bop and finds the tenorman in excellent form. This straightahead music perfectly sums up Getz's brief European period. ~ Scott Yanow

Stan Getz (tenor sax)
Benny Bailey (trumpet)
Lars Gullin (baritone sax)
Bengt Hallberg (piano)
Jan Johansson (piano)
Ake Persson (trombone)
Ray Brown (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

CD 1
1. Honeysuckle Rose
2. They Can't Take That Away From Me (take 1)
3. Topsy (take 1)
4. Celebrating (Janne's Blues)
5. Cabin In The Sky (take 2)
6. Like Someone In Love (take 3)
7. Speak Low (take 6)
8. Stockholm Street (take 2)
9. Bengt's Blues (take 2)
10. Gold Rush (take 1)
11. Stockholm Street (take 1)
12. Cabin In The Sky (rehearsal take)
13. Cabin In The Sky (take 1)

CD 2
1. Celebrating (Janne's Blues) (take 1)
2. Speak Low (take 3)
3. Speak Low (take 5)
4. Like Someone In Love (take 1)
5. Like Someone In Love (take 2)
6. Gold Rush (take 2)
7. Stairway To The Stairs
8. Jordu
9. Ah-Moore
10. Just You, Just Me
11. I Remember Clifford
12. Night In Tunisia
13. Just A Child
14. Lover Come Back To Me

Shostakovitch-violin concerti ,Oistrakh, Tomacek ( Perf:1957-82)

I have a friend ,who lives just down the street..who occasionaly downloads stuff ,and wants to give a little.. he has ripped and uploaded this to a format im not all that familiar with....seems a little archaic and the files are the same size as flac files... anyway he says he used FLAC front end... which i use to decompress files.

Thanks T.. For this he says he hopes you enjoy it.

"So many of today's violin concerto recordings sound artificial because of their spotlit miking of the violin, making it sound gargantuan in relation to the orchestra. But in the case of this 1957 broadcast of Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1, the bigness seems to come from David Oistrakh's violin itself. Yes, he is obviously placed closer to us than the orchestra, but his full tone and the natural reverb of the violin in the large hall confirms the impression of an extraordinarily powerful player, so much so that I quickly forgot this was a mono recording. As for Oistrakh's interpretation, the term that comes to mind is hypnotic. So focused are you on the intense mystery in his playing--those achingly sweet pianissimos!--that the somber first movement is over before you notice. Oistrakh shows us his defiantly powerful side in the third movement passacalgia, and thrills us with his nimble finger work and dead-on intonation in the scherzo and finale. And it's no surprise that Evgeny Mravinsky, the conductor with whom Oistrakh (the work's dedicatee) premiered the work two years earlier, leads a smoldering performance with the Czech Philharmonic.

Shostakovich also dedicated his Second Violin concerto to Oistrakh, and while we are not so fortunate to have his performance here, Jirí Tomášek provides a winning rendition of his own. Tomášek, one of the relatively few violinists to take up the challenge of this dark and brooding work after Oistrakh's death, shows his mastery of the music's eerie contours and hidden crevices as well as the angry euphoria of the finale, where the violin seems freed from years of solitary confinement. This can't be an easy piece to bring off, but Tomášek does so with his robust tone and razor sharp precision. Charles Mackerras, a specialist in Slavic music, leads the Prague Radio Symphony in a gritty realization of the orchestral score. The 1982 broadcast sound is a little on the thin side, but perfectly listenable." --ViKtor Mature

shostakovitch violin concerto#1
"The concerto lasts around 35 minutes and has four movements, with a cadenza linking the final two:
1. Nocturne: Moderato - A semi-homage to the first movement of Elgar's Cello Concerto.
2. Scherzo: Allegro - Demonic dance.
3. Passacaglia: Andante - Cadenza (attaca) - Utilizes Beethoven's fate motif, incorporating it into the pre-burlesque cadenza.
4. Burlesque: Allegro con brio - Presto - The theme in the solo violin's entrance resembles that was the solo flute's entrance in Stravinsky's Petrouchka.
The work is scored for piccolo, three flutes, three oboes, cor anglais, three clarinets (3rd doubling bass clarinet), two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, tuba, timpani, tambourine, tam-tam, xylophone, celesta, two harps and strings.
Oistrakh characterised the first movement as "a suppression of feelings", and the second as "demoniac". The scherzo is also notable for an appearance by the DSCH motif representing the composer himself. Boris Schwarz (Music and Musical Life in Soviet Russia, 1972), commented on the passacaglia's "lapidary grandeur" and the burlesque's "devil-may-care member stoking abandonment". The beginning of the passacaglia is also notable for its juxtaposition of the invasion or Stalin's theme from the Seventh Symphony and the fate motif from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
The concerto is sometimes numbered as Opus 99: the time-lag between composition and performance is the reason that it was originally issued as Opus 77 (Opus 77 was then allocated to Three Pieces for orchestra)."

Milt Jackson - Mostly Duke

The third of three sets released by Pablo from Milt Jackson's engagement at Ronnie Scott's Club in London in 1982 (this CD first came out in 1991) lives up to its title. The great vibraphonist, pianist Monty Alexander, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Mickey Roker play two standards, the leader's "Used to Be Jackson" and six songs associated with Duke Ellington. The music swings hard, Alexander competes with Bags for solo honors and the music should please all straightahead jazz fans. ~ Scott Yanow

Milt Jackson (vibraphone)
Monty Alexander (piano)
Ray Brown (bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)

1. Three Little Words
2. Used To Be Jackson
3. The Summer Knows
4. Main Stem
5. Caravan
6. Take The 'A' Train
7. Things Ain't What They Used To Be
8. Come Sunday
9. Just Squeeze Me (But Don't Tease Me)

Count Basie - Straight Ahead (1968)

After 1963's excellent Basie Land for Verve, Count Basie spent the next five years mostly backing up singers and covering a slew of pop tunes from Bond to The Beatles. In 1968 it was back to the basics on this release for Dot Records in which the title says it all. The band is tight, swings like mad and has a fine flock of soloists headed up by the tenors of Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Eric Dixon. Along with Basie's piano, lead alto Marshall Royal, trumpeter Al Aarons and trombonist Grover Mitchell are featured and drummer Harold Jones gives a clinic in how to kick a big band.

From 1968 to 1983 Sammy Nestico arranged ten albums for Basie. This date, his first for the band, demonstrates Nestico’s talent for bringing a welcomed freshness to the familiar Basie idiom. As lead trombonist Grover Mitchell proudly declared at the time, “Best damn album we’ve made in five years!”

Gene Goe, Sonny Cohn, Oscar Brashear, Al Aarons (trumpet)
Grover Mitchell, Richard Boone, Steve Galloway, Bill Hughes (trombone)
Marshall Royal, Bobby Plater, Eric Dixon, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Charlie Fowlkes (reeds)
Count Basie (piano, organ)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Norman Keenan (bass)
Harold Jones (drums)
  1. Basie-Straight Ahead
  2. It's Oh, So Nice
  3. Lonely Street
  4. Fun Time
  5. Magic Flea
  6. Switch in Time
  7. Hay Burner
  8. That Warm Feeling
  9. The Queen Bee
Recorded October, 1968

Les Paul - The Complete Decca Master Takes

25 early recordings by guitar great Les Paul, originally recorded for the Decca label in the late '40s with his trio (Bob Armstrong, Cal Gooden Jr. and Clint Nordquist. Many of these recordings made up his first album, Hawaiian Paradise, released in 1949. Earlier tracks date from Paul's time on Bing Crosby's radio show and feature Crosby and Helen Forrest.

Regarding Hawaiian Paradise: " Les Paul's first album - originally issued as a four-disc 78 RPM package - was recorded under some duress in the form of an order by Decca label chief Jack Kapp, who wanted a Hawaiian album for the sake of Decca's financial coffers. But Paul's innate musical taste resulted in a pleasant album of melodic Hawaiian standards where he states and elaborates gently upon the tunes with nary a cliched Hawaiian guitar within earshot. Backed by his trio at the time -- Bob Armstrong (piano), Cal Gooden, Jr. (guitar), Clint Nordquist (bass) -- Paul displays his uncanny instinct for hitting the right notes at the right time, with a few patented glissandos but rarely using more notes than necessary. A relatively minor period piece in the context of Paul's career, this issue was one of Decca's first LPs, and its contents finally made it into the CD era in 1997 as part of The Complete Trio-Plus." ~ Richard S. Ginell

1. Begin the Beguine
2. Blue Skies
3. Dream Dust
4. Dark Eyes
5. It's Been a Long, Long Time
6. Whoes Dream Are You?
7. Hawaiian Paradise
8. My Isle of Golden Dreams
9. Baby, What You Do for Me
10. Everybody Knew But Me
11. Song of the Islands
12. Sweet Leilani
13. King's Serenade
14. To You Sweetheart, Aloha
15. Sweet Hawaiian Moonlight
16. Aloha Oe
17. Pretending
18. Gotta Get Me Somebody to Love
19. One Sided Affair
20. What Would It Take?
21. Steel Guitar Rag
22. Guitar Boogie
23. Gotta Get Someone to Love
24. What Am I Gonna Do About You?
25. Drifting and Dreaming
26. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
27. My Future Just Passed

Frank Martin, (1890-1974)- ballades

Frank Martin -Ballades
"The collection of Ballades is, for me, the 'Prince' among these five Chandos discs. Substantial single movement essays provide an ideal medium for Martin's Lutheran-tempered (if not subdued) voice. When he uses voices (especially solo singers) he can tend towards an unvariegated recitative as the story is told. This can infer monotony. The Piano Ballade is typically subtle with overtones of Ravel and a dramatic smash and swing to its finale. The Trombone accentuates the chansonnier rather than the buffoon in its short and lyrical episode.

Do not look for an unbridled ecstasy in Martin. His religious convictions (manifest in the music) do not permit the sort of religious exaltation that crosses the divide into fleshly joys. Martin might thus be compared to Herbert Howells but a Howells with a sombre Gallic accent and purged of the Delian abandon that shakes the rafters and galleries in Missa Sabrinensis and Hymnus Paradisi.

The Cello Ballade could easily partner Edmund Rubbra's Soliloquy and Nicolas Flagello's Capriccio (1962) both for cello and orchestra. It is given a rhythmic jolt by an ostinato that Martin may have encountered in Sibelius's Nightride and Sunrise. The shades are Dutch Master ochres and are perfectly matched to the natural tones of the cello and its inclination to profundity and wonder.

The tightly bunched French tone of the solo in the Saxophone Ballade is contrasted with string writing taking us to the chillier passages in Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony. The Viola Ballade's accents are oriental with a dash of Stravinsky along the way - perhaps a linkage with Pribaoutki and the Japanese Songs. The neatly chiselled Flute Ballade adopts a Ravel-like approach and mixes it with the engaging chatter of Nielsen's Flute Concerto.

Decca have recorded some of the Ballades before. Those for Piano, Trombone, Saxophone and Flute are coupled with the Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Timpani, Percussion and Strings on Decca 444 455-2DH. The Royal Concertgebouw are conducted by Riccardo Chailly. The solo team includes some of the most celebrated virtuosos of the age including John Harle and Christian Lindberg as well as Roland Brautigam.

The fact is however that Chandos have the most natural and generous of couplings and this and the inherent musical values of the music and its performance make this a preferred choice."
Rob Barnett

"Frank Martin was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on 15 September 1890. He was the tenth and youngest child of a clergyman's family. He played and improvised on the piano even before he went to school.

By the age of nine he composed charming children's songs that were perfectly balanced without ever having been taught musical forms or harmony. A performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, heard at the age of twelve, left a lasting impression on the composer, for whom J.S. Bach remained the true master.

He attended Latin school and, to please his parents, went on to study mathematics and physics at the University of Geneva for two years. Simultaneously he started studying piano and composition with Joseph Lauber, who initiated him in the "craft", especially in instrumentation. Between 1918 and 1926 Frank Martin lived in Zurich, Rome and Paris, working on his own, searching for a personal musical language.

In 1926 he founded the "Société de Musique de Chambre de Genève" which he led as pianist and harpsichord player for ten years. He taught improvisation and theory of rhythm at the "Institut Jacques-Dalcroze" and chamber music at the Geneva Conservatory of Music. He was artistic director of the "Technicum Moderne de Musique" from 1933 to 1940 and president of the Swiss Association of Musicians between 1942 and 1946.

In 1932 he became interested in the 12-tone technique of Arnold Schönberg. He incorporated certain elements into his own musical language, creating a synthesis of the chromatic and twelve-tone techniques, without however abandoning the sense of tone - that is, the hierarchical relations between notes. Le Vin Herbé (1941) was the first important work in which he completely mastered this very personal idiom. Together with the Petite Symphonie Concertante (1944-45) it established his international reputation.

Martin's many musical activities in Switzerland interfered with the peace and concentration his compository work required. Consequently he decided tot move to the Netherlands in 1946. For ten years he lived in the centre of Amsterdam followed by a definitive move to the little town of Naarden in 1956. Between 1950 and 1957 he taught composition at the "Staatliche Hochschule für Musik" in Cologne.

After that he ceased all teaching activities, preferring to work at Home Page and to make occasional tours with the Swiss cellist Henri Honegger and to conduct his own music at the invitation of many important musical centres, amongst others in the United States.

He received many honours and awards from all over the world.
In the extensive "oeuvre" of Frank Martin oratorios play an important part. In May 1973 he conducted the world premiere of his Requiem in the Cathedral of Lausanne which left a deep impression on a large audience.

His compositions kept the same vitality until the end of his life. He worked on the cantata Et la Vie l'Emporta until ten days before his death on 21 November 1974."

6 wonderful ballades , 4 of them involving chamber orchestras of one type or another...
the ballades for trombone and piano, saxophone and orchestra, and viola wind, harp harpsichord and percussion are , mysterious luminous pieces ... dour stuff to some
refreshing to me personally.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Lightnin Hopkins - In New York

Sam 'Lightnin’' Hopkins went alone to New York in October, 1960. He had been in the city briefly for a few years before to record, but this was to be the first extended stay and his initial series of concert and night club appearances in the East.

It was at this time that this recording was made in featuring Lightnin’ on piano, guitar and vocals (he even does all three simultaneously at one point!)

This solo CD features the classic bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins on eight unaccompanied solos, not only singing and playing guitar but taking some rare solos on piano (including on "Lightnin's Piano Boogie"). Hopkins recorded a lot of albums in the 1960s and all are quite listenable even if most are not essential; he did tend to ramble at times! This Candid release is one of his better sets of the period, highlighted by "Take It Easy," "Mighty Crazy," and "Mister Charlie." ~ Scott Yanow

1. Take It Easy
2. Mighty Crazy
3. Your Own Fault, Baby, to Treat Me the Way You Do
4. I've Had My Fun If I Don't Get Well No More
5. Trouble Blues
6. Lightnin's Piano Boogie
7. Wonder Why
8. Mister Charlie

Nola Penthouse Studios, New York: November 15, 1960

Tristan Honsinger/Toshinori Kondo/Peter Kowald/Sabu Toyozumi- What Are You Talking About-1983

Here's a record that may be reckoned to be the most accessible thing these players ever committed to disc.
Best known as for their uncompromising forays on the wilder shores of free improv.
This is much more tune orientated.
most pieces seem to have a tonal center ,even if id does shift/drift.

The delivery is very slapstick and that may irritate some..on a couple of the tracks they sound like drunken dixielanders attempting to play bebop( i like that alot)

Kondo rally does it for me as a trumpeter ..I've always thought he had one of the most distinctive voices on the instrument post cherry and Dixon.
Even if you don’t appreciate the grotesque drolleries … or like sois dissant avant guarde music..you may enjoy this.

Personnel: Tristan Honsinger (vocals, cello); Toshinori Kondo (vocals, trumpet, Chinese oboe); Peter Kowald (vocals, bass); Sabu Toyozumi (vocals, drums).

Jack DeJohnette's Directions - Untitled (1976) [LP]

We used to have an ECM/HatHut Monday thread going here that was started by Rab. I'm not the biggest ECM fan, but I do occasionally need a "fix" to expand my horizons and work my brain a little. And it's good for the soul.

I don't recall this one ever being posted, probably because there's never been a CD reissue. ECM has released over 900 albums and there are still about 50 that haven't been reissued yet. It's beyond me why this one hasn't made the cut. Couldn't find a review, but it's a rather eclectic album and you can get a sense of the style and quality just by checking out the personnel.

Jack DeJohnnette (drums, tenor sax on Vikings)
John Abercrombie (electric and acoustic guitars)
Alex Foster (tenor and soprano saxophones)
Mike Richmond (acoustic and electric bass)
Warren Bernhardt (piano, electric piano, clavinet, cowbell)

  1. Flying Spirits
  2. Pansori Visions
  3. Fantastic
  4. The Vikings Are Coming
  5. Struttin
  6. Morning Star
  7. Malibu Reggae
Recorded February 1976 at Talent Studios, Oslo

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lucky Thompson - Lucky In Paris

Saxophonist Lucky Thompson deserves more credit for not only being an original jazz stylist, but one who also played with soul, passion and verve. This recording is as finely crafted as anything Thompson recorded, and maybe more so because the empathy and interaction between him and his bandmates, especially the brilliant Algerian pianist Martial Solal, comes through on this date with alarming consistency. Though mostly known as a tenor man, Thompson's soprano playing is quite arresting. His primarily eighth-note phrasings have a distinct Parisian quality, more reminiscent of a harmonica or clarinet. The first two cuts, "How About You" and "Midnight Sun," display this attitude, and makes you wonder if maybe John Coltrane or Steve Lacy were listening and absorbing in the wings. It's quite different than any other approach to soprano heard thereafter. Of course, Thompson's throaty, lugubrious, soulful sound on tenor is irresistible, especially on a ballad like "Solitude." It's a treat to hear Thompson not only in such a sympathetic and well-recorded setting, but as relaxed yet freewheeling as you want with respect to the tricky science of improvising. There are two cuts with just Lucky and percussionist Gana M'bow, and they hint at a pre-eminent world music asethetic, but most are swingers, featuring the underrated French drummer Dave Pochonet, who shines as brightly as Solal. Vibist Michel Hausser gets little solo space, but there's some nice unison dealings on Dizzy Gillespie's "Ow." Overall, this is an extraordinary session, with ten cuts clocking in just shy of 44 minutes of sheer jazz delight. Lucky Thompson is as precious as gold, and any fortunate opportunity to hear him in such a positive setting has to be worth the price. This might very well be his best recording. Highly recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos

Lucky Thompson (soprano, tenor sax)
Martial Solal (piano)
Michel Hausser (vibraphone)
Gilbert Gassin (bass)
Gerard Pochonet (drums)
Gana M'Bow (percussion)

1. How About You
2. Midnight Sun
3. Pennies From Heaven
4. Solitude
5. Have You Met Miss Jones
6. We'll Be Together Again
7. Soul Food
8. Tea For Two
9. O.W.
10. Brother Bob

Recorded in Paris, France on January 14-15, 1959

From our good friend Dylanfan...

A man with wide and unfailing good taste.

Klaus Doldinger - tenor sax
Johnny Griffin - tenor sax
Volker Kriegel - guitar
Alexis Korner - vcls, guitar (4, 5, 6)
Wolfgang Schmidt - bass
Brian Auger - organ
Kristian Schultze - piano, moog, mellotron
Pete York - drums, perc
Curt Cress - drums

1. Handmade
2. Freedom Jazz Dance
3. Schirokko
4. Rockport
5. Rock Me Baby
6. Lemuria's Dance

Recorded live, October 16th, 1973 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Annie Ross and Zoot Sims - A Gasser!

Here's a singer I much prefer to most. Because she's clever? Because she's from a Scottish family? Because she's as hip as they come and is not a broken toy? All of the above. She keeps good company too.

Most of this CD reissue contains one of singer Annie Ross' finest sessions away from the premiere jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. She is joined by either Zoot Sims or (on two numbers) Bill Perkins on tenor, pianist Russ Freeman, Billy Bean or Jim Hall on guitar, bassist Monty Budwig and Mel Lewis or Frankie Capp on drums. Ross' renditions of such tunes as "I'm Nobody's Baby," "Invitation To The Blues," "I Didn't Know About You" and "You Took Advantage Of Me" are highlights. Also on this set are five instrumentals taken from samplers that showcase the talents of Zoot Sims and Russ Freeman. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Annie Ross (vocal)
Zoot Sims (tenor sax)
Bill Perkins (tenor sax on 1-2)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Billy Bean (guitar on 3-7)
Monte Budwig (bass)
Frank Capp (drums)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Los Angeles: Spring, 1959

1 - I'm Just A Lucky So And So
2 - You're Nearer
3 - I'm Nobody's Baby
4 - Lucky Day
5 - Invitation To The Blues
6 - You're Driving Me Crazy
7 - Invitation To The Blues (Instrumental)
8 - Everything I've Got
9 - I Didn't Know About You
10 - I Was Doing All Right
11 - You Took Advantage Of Me
12 - I Don't Want To Cry Anymore
13 - Bones For Zoot
14 - Funky Old Blues
15 - Brushes

J.J. Johnson - Live at Café Bohemia 1957

And one more from Fresh Sound, this time a live recording by Jay Jay Johnson's great working band with a young Elvin Jones, belgian tenor sax and flute player Bobby Jaspar, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and Wilbur Little on bass. This is but a short set, but still a nice addition to the Columbia studio recordings of this same quintet.
Over the course of his stay with J.J., Bobby Jaspar turned from a soft Prez disciple into quite a mature and more hard-edged player. EJ is still very young, his later style of drumming isn't present at this early point, but he's already a fine drummer nevertheless. Wilbur Little would later join Elvin in his band, and Tommy Flanagan, like Elvin, hails from the Detroit jazz scene. (I think some of those "motor city" albums are here, do a search...)
What I find most satisfying about any of J.J.'s bands is his clever arrangements. Barely ever they just blow, he always adds some interesting twists. There's no need for everyone to solo on each piece, sometimes you get a bass solo first, sometimes you get some little arranged parts in between, etc. This isn't your typical clichéd hard bop blowing session, no sir! The music most often has an arranger's touch, and that, in my opinion, is most welcome!

Ken Dryden's AMG review:
The J.J. Johnson Quintet is heard live during a 1957 broadcast that originated from the Cafe Bohemia in New York City. Having just ended his musical partnership with fellow trombonist Kai Winding, Johnson was now leading an exciting new group with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Wilbur Little, drummer Elvin Jones, and the tragically short-lived tenor saxophonist and flutist Bobby Jaspar. Johnson devours the rapid-fire opener, "Bernie's Tune," then Jaspar is added for his original "In a Little Provincial Town," which features his lyrical flute and some fine muted trombone by the leader. Jaspar is heard on tenor during the intricate arrangement of the bittersweet ballad "Angel Eyes." The group gets an infectious Latin groove going for "Old Devil Moon" and finishes on a blazing note with Johnson's up-tempo cooker, "Daylie Double," which he had recorded for Blue Note just two years earlier. Everyone is in top form and the sound quality is fairly good, so this fine evening of bop is highly recommended.

J.J. Johnson (tb), Bobby Jaspar (ts,fl), Tommy Flanagan (p),
Wilbur Little (b), Elvin Jones (d)

1. J. J. Johnson Introduces the Members of His Quintet/Bernie's Tune
2. In a Little Provincial Town
3. I Should Care
4. Angel Eyes
5. Old Devil Moon
6. My Old Flame
7. Dailie Double/Solar

Café Bohemia, New York City, February 1957

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dr. Taylor At The Piano....

Cecil Taylor - Air Above Mountains

This Cecil Taylor solo concert features the radical pianist at a performance in Austria playing continuously for 51 minutes. Except for some brief moments, his music is quite intense, percussive, crowded and overflowing with passion. Taylor's longtime fans will find much to marvel at while newcomers to his music are advised instead to check out his earlier (and less dissonant) sessions from the 1950s first. ~ Scott Yanow

Following his successful live solo piano album Silent Tongues, Air Above Mountains is an improvement in that Taylor plays two extended pieces here (instead of the five shorter pieces that make up the former album). With two half-hour pieces (restored to their original length on the CD reissue), Taylor explores the audial possibilities of the piano in placid, yet often thunderous runs. Known for playing the piano like it was a drum set, Taylor here plays extended softer passages in his noted dissonant style. Is this jazz? Who cares. It's wonderful, challenging, calamitous music.

Cecil Taylor (piano)

1-Part One - Air Above Mountains (Buildings Within)
2-Part Two - Air Above Mountains (Buildings Within)

Recorded live on August 20, 1976 at Moosnam Castle, Open Air Festival, Austria

The Billy Taylor Trio - With Candido

Having already dedicated half of 1953's Cross Section to numbers with Machito's band, it was no surprise that Bill Taylor's 1954 follow-up, Trio with Candido, would feature more Latin touches -- this time with star Cuban conga player Candido. In line with fellow jazz pianists George Shearing and Red Garland, Taylor doesn't incorporate the Cuban clavé beat so much as he includes the percussion for accentuation. In spite of this, Candido offers up some provocative solos, especially on the fast-paced Taylor original "A Live One," which features the pianist and percussionist trading an energetic set of fours. Medium to slow-tempo Taylor originals, though, dominate the program, including "Bit of Bedlam," where the chaos is decidedly cool. Throughout the album, Taylor uses his fleet, Teddy Wilson-informed solo chops to pleasant effect, even stretching out a bit on "Mambo Inn" to complement Candido's own lengthy workout. A very nice program of Latin-tinged bop numbers which unfortunately has not found its way to CD, but occasionally can be found on LP. For at least some of Taylor's Latin forays, there is the CD reissue of Cross Section. Stephen Cook

Billy Taylor (piano)
Earl May (bass)
Percy Brice (drums)
Candido (conga, bongo)

1. Mambo Inn
2. Bit Of Bedlam
3. Declivity
4. Love For Sale
5. A Live One
6. Different Bells

Hackensack; September 7, 1954

Tal Farlow - The Return Of Tal Farlow/1969

After recording a series of rewarding albums in the '50s, guitarist Tal Farlow largely dropped out of the jazz scene, being quite content to be a sign painter in New England. This Prestige set (reissued on CD) was his first in a decade and would be followed by another seven years of silence. Fortunately, Farlow had continued playing on a low-profile basis in the interim, and he was still very much in top form. Joined by pianist John Scully, bassist Jack Six and drummer Alan Dawson, Farlow performs swinging versions of seven standards, including "Straight, No Chaser," "I'll Remember April" and "Crazy, She Calls Me." Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Tal Farlow (guitar)
John Scully (piano)
Jack Six (bass)
Alan Dawson (drums)

1. Straight No Chaser
2. Darn That Dream
3. Summertime
4. Some Time Ago
5. I'll Remember April
6. My Romance
7. Crazy She Calls Me

Recorded in New York on September 23, 1969

Waymon Reed - 46th and 8th (1977)

A journeyman jazz trumpeter, Reed was a reliable bop-oriented soloist. After attending the Eastman School of Music and gaining experience playing with R&B groups and with Ira Sullivan in Miami, Reed was a member of James Brown's group during 1965-1969 and then was with Count Basie (1969-1973). Short stints with the Frank Foster and Thad Jones-Mel Lewis big bands preceded another tour of duty with Basie (1977-1978). Reed was married for a time to Sarah Vaughan, and he worked with her during much of 1978-1980 before their marriage broke up and he was stricken with cancer. He passed away in 1983.

Trumpeter Waymon Reed was considered a reliable bop-influenced soloist and a fine section player in big bands. This was his only opportunity to lead a record date and the results are pleasingly straight-ahead. Reed is heard on one original (the title cut which is a blues) and four standards along with tenor-saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Keter Betts and drummer Bobby Durham. Nothing surprising occurs but Reed (particularly on a warm version of the ballad "But Beautiful") is in fine form. - Scott Yanow

At the time of this session at Sound Ideas Studios on 46th Street in NYC, Waymon Reed was living at the Century Paramount Hotel on 46th, playing in the broadway show "Chicago" at the 46th Street Theatre, and was hanging out after-hours on 46th and 8th.

Released by Artist House Records - never on CD. An eight page booklet is included as a pdf file along with cover, back and inside photos.

Waymon Reed (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Jimmy Forrest (tenor sax)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Keter Betts (bass)
Bobby Durham (drums)
  1. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  2. Au Privave
  3. 46th and 8th
  4. But Beautiful
  5. Blue Monk
Recorded May 25, 1977

Joe Pass - I Remember Charlie Parker (1979)

For this set of unaccompanied solos, guitarist Joe Pass decided to pay tribute to Charlie Parker, not by recording his compositions but by playing ten of the numbers that Bird had recorded with strings during 1949-1950. One really does not miss the strings, for Pass had earlier in the decade developed his technique to the point where he sounded like a self-sufficient orchestra. Among the songs he plays are "Just Friends" (the most successful of the Charlie Parker with Strings recordings), "April in Paris," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "If I Should Lose You," and two versions of "Out of Nowhere." Tasteful and swinging music by one classic musician in homage to another. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Joe Pass (guitar)

1. Just Friends
2. Easy to Love
3. Summertime
4. April in Paris
5. Everything Happens to Me
6. Laura
7. They Can't Take That Away From Me
8. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
9. If I Should Lose You
10. Out of Nowhere (Concept I)
11. Out of Nowhere (Concept II)

The Nat Cole Trio - The MacGregor Years, 1941-1945

In the '40s, Nat King Cole's trio recorded more than 240 songs for the C.P. MacGregor company -- a Los Angeles-based outfit that specialized in radio transcriptions and had their own studio. Like V-discs, radio transcriptions were not sold commercially; they were 16" records that were strictly for radio broadcast. And Capitol had no problem with Cole doing so much recording for MacGregor because they realized that the radio airplay would be beneficial. These days, Cole's transcriptions are sold commercially and the general public has access to what were basically promotional recordings back in the '40s.

On this four-CD set are included the bulk of Nat King Cole's radio transcriptions of 1941 and 1944-45. Although the programming could be a little better (the complete sessions are not compiled strictly in chronological order), the music has a strong unity and is consistently enjoyable. Pianist-vocalist Cole and his trio (which also includes important contributions by guitarist Oscar Moore and either Johnny Miller or Wesley Prince on bass) are featured extensively both as a unit and as an accompanying group to singers Anita Boyer, Ida James, Anita O'Day and the Barrie Sisters on 33, 15, five and five songs respectively. There are 120 selections altogether (some are quite brief) including two six-song instrumental medleys that put the emphasis on Cole's piano playing. Some of the music had already been reissued by Laserlight but this compiliation is more complete. Highly recommended to all fans of the King Cole Trio. ~ Scott Yanow

Nat Cole (piano)
Oscar Moore (guitar)
Johnny Miller (bass)
Wesley Prince (bass)

Charlie Parker - The Complete Legendary Rockland Palace Concert

There aren't many live recordings of Bird during his string-section period, which would usually feature his regular quintet as the rhythm section. Aside from the famous Carnegie Hall concert of 1950, much of what exists boasts atrocious sound quality. One of those was Parker's performance at a dance with both his quintet and a string section at New York City's Rockland Palace in 1952. With Walter Bishop on piano, Teddy Kotick on bass, Mundell Lowe on guitar (replacing the trumpet that would normally spell Bird on solos), and Max Roach on drums, the string section works the same charts as the studio versions, but Parker's solos are -- as always -- inventive and often differ from their better-known incarnations. For years, part of this show was documented on several vinyl LPs taken from an audience recording off a wobbly sounding wire recorder. This new issue boasts the major find of a second tape recorded that night by far more professional means. The second tape had superior sound, plus several performances that didn't exist on the earlier version. The new tape had one major drawback; it contained almost no solos by musicians other than Bird. So the restoration on this two-disc set is painstakingly pieced together from the two existing tapes. While certain edits are noticeable, this audio restoration not only gives a fuller picture of some of the music Parker played that evening, but in the best sound that can be expected until future audio miracles are invented. As an added bonus, one track (a blisteringly fast take of "Lester Leaps In") was synched up between both tapes, resulting in a kind of surround sound stereo that makes for interesting listening. An important chapter in Parker's musical history, now preserved in the best audio shape possible. ~ Cub Koda

Note; the track sequence for CD 2 is correct below, and is wrong on the CD insert. Also, there is only one track that has been given the stereo treatment - the cover is quite misleading.

Charlie Parker (alto sax)
Walter Bishop Jr. (piano)
Mundell Lowe (guitar)
Teddy Kotick (bass)
Max Roach (drums)

CD 1
1. East Of The Sun #1
2. What Is This Thing Called Love? #1
3. Stardust
4. Ornithology
5. Easy To Love #1
6. Just Friends #1
7. Dancing In The Dark
8. Gold Rush (aka Turnstile)
9. Don't Blame Me
10. April In Paris
11. Repitition #1
12. Everything Happens To Me
13. Sly Mongoose #1
14. Sly Mongoose #2
15. Rocker #1
16. Laura
17. Lester Leaps In

CD 2
1. Out Of Nowhere
2. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
3. I'll Remember April
4. Cool Blues
5. East Of The Sun #2
6. Just Friends #2
7. My Little Suede Shoes
8. What Is This Thing Called Love? #2
9. Repitition #2
10. This Time The Dream's On Me
11. Moose On The Mooche
12. Star Eyes
13. Rocker #2
14. Easy To Love #2

Friday, September 12, 2008

Roberto Ottaviano and Mal Waldron-Black Spirits Are Here Again 1996

Heres a small coda to our waldron fest of some time ago a very lovely album which i had tucked away in a box somewhere.

i know ottaviano mainly from his featured playing on a few giorgio gaslini, and franz kogelmann albums.
"This beautiful duet album calls to mind the classic pairing of Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy. Ottaviano, from Italy, is a beautifully lyrical player who has a finely drawn sense of musical line and space. He is perfectly matched with Waldron whose long career demonstrates a brilliant knowledge of what to put in and what to leave out. These two play just enough to make dazzling sound poems of eight jazz classics: Eubie Blake's Memories Of You; Benny Carter's When Lights Are Low; Duke Ellington's Come Sunday; Fats Waller's Jitterbug Waltz; John Lewis' Django; Dizzy Gillespie's Night In Tunisia; John Coltrane's Lonnie's Lament and Waldron's Soul Eyes.”

some info on ottaviano(translated from german by google)
"" Thanks to his musical brillance and his detachment from fashions Ottaviano has been "considered one of the meaningful european voices (although his unpredictable" outsider "soul). Ten CD's under his name and forty in collaboration with other formations and numerous festivals in Europe, United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa keep his presence on musicians and international criticism. Roberto Ottaviano born in Bari on december 21, 1957, starts very soon to be interested in the whole world music and he becomes a devouring fanatic of it. Roberto Ottaviano born in Bari on december 21, 1957, starts very soon to be interested in the whole world music and he becomes a fanatic devouring of it. The feeling of producing that sounds is very strong that at age 14 he starts to study the drums and flute as self-taught, than studing the clarinet for five years with Antonio Di Maso at the Conservatory N.Piccinni in Bari. The feeling of producing sounds that is very strong that at age 14 he starts to study the flute and drums as self-taught, than studying the clarinet for five years with Antonio Di Maso at the Conservatory N. Piccinni in Bari.

As a result of listening Lester Young and John Coltrane he understands the will of becoming a saxophonist, so he starts as self taught, assimilating the importance of the sound, accent's and creativeness. As a result of listening Lester Young and John Coltrane he understands the will of becoming a saxophonist, so he starts as self taught, assimilating the importance of the sound, accent's and creativeness.

Thanks to the accidental meeting with Steve Lacy, his model and adviser, he will improve the study on soprano during 1980-1986 partly in Paris partly in Italy.

In Perugia, with the great classical virtuoso Federico Mondelci his technical preparation becames “pure” starting from the traditional French school so that in 1984 he achieves the Diploma, furthermore frequenting, during '70 and the first part of the 1980, some stages with Evan Parker and Jimmy Giuffre. In Perugia, with the great classical virtuoso Federico Mondelci his technical preparation becames "pure" starting from the traditional French school so that in 1984 he achieves the Diploma, frequenting furthermore, during'70 and the first part of the 1980, some stages with Evan Parker and Jimmy Giuffre."

Little Richard

Now, if you're too hip to check this out something has gone terribly wrong on your voyage to Coolsville. Some great session people here, many stalwarts of the Nola scene, Amos Milburn bands and such. Sugarcane Harris too - look for more of him soon.

Little Richard - Volume 1: The Georgia Peach

Richard Penniman - aka Little Richard, aka the Beauty, aka the Georgia Peach (hence the title) began recording in 1951 but he didn't really hit his stride until his tenure at Specialty Records. While there, beginning in 1955 with "Tutti Frutti," he turned out a long string of hits - piano driven, falsetto laden, three chord rockers pounded out at dangerously fast tempos - that influenced countless artists. The best of them -- "Long Tall Sally," "Lucille," "Slippin' and Slidin'", "Rip It Up," "Ready Teddy," "Keep a Knockin'" and more - are collected on this definitive one disc best-of, along with less familiar ("Ooh! My Soul") but no less cataclysmic (Ooh! My Soul") assaults on bourgeois propriety. Make no mistake -- this is rock-and-roll at absolute Ground Zero.

Perhaps the greatest of Little Richard's greatest hits compilations, the 25-track Georgia Peach features all of his biggest hits in chronological order, as well as terrific singles that never were as big as "Tutti Frutti" and "Good Golly Miss Molly." On top of the sublime song selection and sound, the liner notes by compiler Billy Vera are splendid and insightful. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1. Tutti Frutti
2. Baby
3. I'm Just A Lonely Guy
4. True Fine Mama
5. Kansas City / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey
6. Slippin' And Slidin' (Peepin' And Hidin')
7. Long Tall Sally
8. Miss Ann
9. Oh Why?
10. Ready Teddy
11. Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey
12. Rip It Up
13. Lucille
14. Heeby-Jeebies
15. Can't Believe You Wanna Leave
16. Shake A Hand
17. All Around The World
18. She's Got It
19. Jenny Jenny
20. Good Golly Miss Molly
21. The Girl Can't Help It
22. Send Me Some Lovin'
23. Ooh! My Soul
24. Keep A Knockin'
25. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Little Richard - Volume 2: Shag on Down by the Union Hall

A companion disc to Specialty's "The Georgia Peach". The big hits are on that CD; this disc gathers some lesser 45s along with some alternate takes of the hits. "The Georgia Peach" is the essential Little Richard CD; this one is less important but certainly quite enjoyable. Nice booklet, great sound.

For those who want more classic Little Richard than a greatest-hits collection but aren't devoted enough to spring for the expensive box sets, this is an excellent anthology of 24 of his best lesser-known tracks. Most of it dates from his classic era at Specialty (1955-57), with alternate takes of a lot of his hits and some decent B-sides; there are also a few songs that he cut for the label during his 1964 comeback, including the minor hit "Bama Lama Bama Loo." ~ Richie Unterberger

1. Kansas City
2. Maybe I'm Right
3. Tutti Frutti
4. Directly From My Heart
5. Long Tall Sally (The Thing)
6. Heeby-Jeebies Love
7. I Got It
8. Ready Teddy
9. Rip It Up
10. Good Golly Miss Molly
11. Hound Dog
12. Baby Face
13. The Girl Can't Help It
14. By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
15. Royal Crown Hair Dressing Ad
16. Keep A-Knockin'
17. Boo Hoo Hoo Hoo (I'll Never Let You Go)
18. Early One Morning
19. She Knows How To Rock
20. Miss Ann
21. Well Alright!
22. Bama Lama Bama Loo
23. Poor Boy Paul
24. Annie Is Back

Fusion Friday

Weather Report - Night Passage (1980)

I know this one is readily available in many places, but if you are a fusion newbie, then you should check this out. Not as innovative as their first few albums, but not as pop oriented as some others. I just wish there was more than one Wayne Shorter composition but... this album is just plain fun to listen to.

All things being relative, this is Weather Report's straightahead album, where the elaborate production layers of the late-'70s gave way to sparer textures and more unadorned solo improvisation in the jazz tradition, electric instruments and all. The flaw of this album is the shortage of really memorable compositions; it is more of a vehicle for the virtuosic feats of what is considered by some to be the classic WR lineup -- Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius, Robert Thomas, Jr. and Peter Erskine. For Erskine, this is is first full studio album and he amply demonstrates his terrific sense of forward drive unique among the other superb drummers in WR annals. "Port of Entry" is a tour de force for Jaco, who knocks off several of those unbelievably slippery, pointed runs that have made him a posthumous legend. There is also a tremendously fun retro trip to Duke Ellington's "Rockin' in Rhythm," everybody swinging their heads and hands off. - Richard S. Ginell

Wayne Shorter (saxophones)
Joe Zawinul (keyboards)
Jaco Pastorius (bass)
Peter Erskine (drums)
Robert Thomas, Jr. (percussion)
  1. Night Passage
  2. Dream Clock
  3. Port of Entry
  4. Forlorn
  5. Rockin' in Rhythm
  6. Fast City
  7. Three Views of a Secret
  8. Madagascar

Passport - Doldinger (1972)

Continuing alpax's Fusion Friday theme, here is Passport's first album by request. I'll branch out with something different next week. No review, so here's a bio :

Klaus Doldinger, best-known for leading the excellent fusion group Passport in the 1970s and '80s, has had a diverse and episodic career. He started out studying piano in 1947 and clarinet five years later, playing in Dixieland bands in the 1950s. By 1961, he had become a modern tenor saxophonist, working with such top visiting and expatriate Americans as Don Ellis, Johnny Griffin, Benny Bailey, Idrees Sulieman, Donald Byrd, and Kenny Clarke, recording as a leader for Philips, World Pacific, and Liberty. However, in 1970, he initiated a long series of fusion-oriented sessions for Atlantic that featured his tenor, soprano, flute, and occasional keyboards with an electric rhythm section. In addition to writing music for films (including Das Boot) and television in Europe, Doldinger has remained active as a player who occasionally explores his roots in hard bop into the late '90s, but because he has always lived in Europe, he remains underrated in the U.S. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Klaus Doldinger (tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, moog synthesizer, electric piano)
Olaf Kubler (tenor saxophone, flute)
Jimmy Jackson (organ)
Udo Lindenberg (drums
Lothar Meid (electric bass)

1. Uranus
2. Schirokko
3. Hexensabbat
4. Nostalgia
5. Lemuria's Dance
6. Continuation
7. Madhouse Jam

Bessie and Dinah Sing Bessie

Bessie Smith - The Essential Bessie Smith

Although there are a multitude of box sets chronicling Bessie's entire recorded career, this two-disc, 36-song set sweats it down to the bare essentials in quite an effective manner. Bessie could sing it all, from the lowdown moan of "St. Louis Blues" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" to her torch treatment of the jazz standard "After You've Gone" to the downright salaciousness of "Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl." Covering a time span from her first recordings in 1923 to her final session in 1933, this is the perfect entry-level set to go with. Utilizing the latest in remastering technology, these recordings have never sounded quite this clear and full, and the selection -- collecting her best-known sides and collaborations with jazz giants like Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, and Benny Goodman -- is first-rate. If you've never experienced the genius of Bessie Smith, pick this one up and prepare yourself to be devastated. ~ Cub Koda

Bessie Smith (vocals)
Chu Berry (tenor sax)
Benny Goodman (clarinet)
James P. Johnson (piano)
Eddie Lang (guitar)
Jack Teagarden (trombone)
Coleman Hawkins (clarinet, tenor sax)
Tommy Ladnier (cornet)

Dinah Washington - The Bessie Smith Songbook

The usual solid if unknown backup musicians: Charles Davis was with Sun Ra and Kenny Dorham, Quentin Jackson with Ellington and Mingus and others - you get the idea.

It was only natural that the "Queen of the Blues" should record songs associated with the "Empress of the Blues." The performances by the septet/octet do not sound like the 1920s and the purposely ricky-tick drumming is insulting, but Dinah Washington sounds quite at home on this music. "Trombone Butter" (featuring trombonist Quentin Jackson in Charlie Green's role), "You've Been a Good Ole Wagon," "After You've Gone" and "Back Water Blues" are highpoints as she overcomes the cornball arrangements. ~ Scott Yanow

Dinah Washington (vocals)
Jack Wilson (piano)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Julian Priester (trombone)
Eddie Chamblee (tenor sax)
Charles Davis (baritone sax)
Quentin Jackson (trombone)

1. After You've Gone
2. Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair
3. Jailhouse Blues
4. Trombone Butter
5. You've Been A Good Ole Wagon
6. Careless Love
7. Back Water Blues
8. If I Could be With You One Hour Tonight
9. Me And My Gin
10. Fine Fat Daddy

Chicago: December 1957- January 1958

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eric Dolphy - The Complete Prestige Recordings CDs 5-9

George Adams and Don Pullen - Live At The Village Vanguard Vol. 1

"This formidable little band is one of the most satisfying on the scene today, and this generously-timed pair of 'live' recordings finds all four musicians in excellent shape. Allowing for changes in the bass department, the quartet in fact goes back some 12 or 13 years — with this particular formation now in its ninth — but familiarity has bred no hint of tedium. Indeed, all four remain ready to take up any challenge while benefiting from the maturity brought by association. That maturity shines through all performances, but particularly the five already recorded in studio — The Necessary Blues, a Monkish nod in the direction of Straight No Chaser, and the four on Volume 2. Though lengthy, each brims with ideas that are fresh as a spring dawn. Intentions is often the band's opener, distantly related to Milestones (the 1958 version), and packed with exciting play and interplay — note the overlapping of Adams and Pullen, for example. In contrast to all this excitement are the two ballads. Solitude and Diane, whose bold lyricism indicates the passion in check, and the organic nature in which all the band's music grows. Their playing possesses great wit, too — as in Cosmos and Big Alice, the latter the oldest tune in the repertoire and named for Pullen's fictional, 30-stone fan . . . This is among the finest, most exuberant playing by one of the idiom's most inventive quartets, and sure to figure in the end-of-year poll." ~ Chris Sheridan

George Adams (tenor sax)
Don Pullen (piano)
Cameron Brown (bass)
Dannie Richmond (drums)

1. The Necessary Blues (Thank You Very Much, Mr Monk)
2. Solitude
3. Intentions
4. Diane

New York: August 19, 1983

Superblue (1988)

Trumpeter Don Sickler produced and arranged this session which brought back the classic Blue Note sound of the fifties and sixties. Sickler, who also plays trumpet on the date, surrounded himself with some of the top "young lions" of the time and revisits some hard bop classics by the likes of Tina Brooks, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson and Hank Mobley as well as a few new ones. With the number of horns on the front line, at times you'd swear it was the Jazz Messengers.

Don Sickler (trumpet, arranger)
Roy Hargrove (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Frank Lacy (trombone)
Bobby Watson (alto sax)
Bill Pierce (tenor sax)
Mulgrew Miller (piano)
Bob Hurst (bass)
Kenny Washington (drums)

  1. Open Sesame
  2. Summertime
  3. Marvelous Marvin
  4. Time Off
  5. I Remember Clifford
  6. Conservation
  7. Once Forgotten
  8. M & M
Recorded April 26, 1988

Art Blakey - Midnight Session

This album was also released as "Mirage", and originally I think as "Reflections of Buhaina". Someone asked for it a while ago in the comments, I hope I'm still in time to be the first to offer it, instead of duplicating it!

Here's Scott Yanow's short blather:

"The 1957 edition of The Jazz Messengers heard throughout this enjoyable LP features altoist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Bill Hardman, pianist Sam Dockery, bassist Spanky DeBrest and leader/drummer Art Blakey. Already at this early stage, the band was the epitome of hard bop and just beginning to become an influential force. Although none of these six selections (three by tuba player Ray Draper) would become standards, the music is consistently excellent and typically hard swinging."

What's different about this album is that only one title was composed by a short-time ex-messenger, Gigi Gryce, while the remaining titles were written by a buddy of the two horn players, Ray Draper, and by the great Mal Waldron, who back in that time was one of the Prestige house players/composers/organisers, who seemed to write tunes as often as others eat and drink and sleep...

Some more of this so called second edition of the Messengers can be found on CIA, for those interested.

Bill Hardman (t), Jackie McLean (as), Sam Dockery (p),
Spanky DeBrest (b), Art Blakey (d)

New York, March 8 & 9, 1957

1. Casino (Gryce) 5:03
2. The Biddie Griddies (Draper) 5:59
3. Potpourri (Waldron) 4:23
4. Ugh! (Draper) 5:36
5. Mirage (Waldron) 4:42
6. Reflections of Buhainia (Draper) 6:50

Note: other editions of this album contain a shorter alternate track of #6 - I don't have that track, sorry.

Don Fagerquist - Portrait of a Great Jazz Artist

Here's another Fresh Sound hackjob, highlighting one of the unsung heroes of West Coast jazz, Don Fagerquist. His sessions as a leader were few although his recorded discography is huge. His lone album as a leader, "Eight By Eight" (Mode, reissued on CD by VSOP) is very much worth searching!

Subject of this post though are some sessions highlighting Fagerquist's trumpet playing, arranged and led by Terry Pollard (from her Bethlehem album, three of the four tracks with Fagerquist are here), Russell Garcia, Les Brown, Heinie Beau, as well as two titles from a "Stars of Jazz" TV show, arranged by Marty Paich. The session comprising tracks 4-6 while nominally by the "Les Brown All Stars" ought to be considered another leader entry in Don's discography. As far as I know, the bonus tracks on Dave Pell's "I Had the Craziest Dream" (I'm speaking of the US Capitol CD reissue) are led by Fagerquist as well, though common knowledge says "Eight By Eigth" is the only session he actually led.

AMG review by Jason Ankeny:
Marginalized as a result of his limited recorded output -- just one LP as a leader, the excellent Music to Fill a Void -- trumpeter Don Fagerquist remains ripe for rediscovery: a surefooted and expressive trumpeter, his cool, nuanced tones capture the essence of West Coast jazz. Portrait of a Great Jazz Artist is an exemplary introduction to Fagerquist's music, cherry-picking his finest solos from a series of dates spanning from 1955 to 1959 in support of Les Brown, Russ Garcia, and others. Aided and abetted by sidemen including Herb Geller and Zoot Sims, Fagerquist exhibits a stunningly imaginative melodic ability, creating a seemingly contradictory sound that's soft and mellow but boasts diamond-sharp edges.

1. Autumn Serenade (DeRose, Gallop) 5:56
2. Fedj (Pollard) 3:44
3. Almost Like Being in Love (Lerner, Loewe) 3:17
4. The Way You Look Tonight (Fields, Kern) 3:28
5. Love Is Just Around the Corner (Gensler, Robin) 3:33
6. The Man I Love (Gershwin, Gershwin) 3:18
7. Worry-Go-Round (Garcia) 2:42
8. The Boy Next Door (Blane, Martin) 3:31
9. I'm Glad There's You (Dorsey, Madeira) 4:08
10. Body and Soul (Green, Heyman, Sour) 4:16
11. Out of Nowhere (Green, Heyman) 2:56
12. Coquette (Green, Kahn, Lombardo) 3:05
13. You're Looking at Me (Troup) 3:08
14. Time After Time (Cahn, Styne) 2:48
15. Aren't You Glad You're You? (Burke, Van Heusen) 3:26
16. Love Is Here to Stay (Gershwin, Gershwin) 3:38
17. I Remember You (Mercer, Schertzinger) 2:23

#1-3: Fagerquist (t), Terry Pollard (p), Howard Roberts (g), Herman Wright (b), Frank DeVito (d)
Radio Recorders, Hollywood, January 10, 1955

#4-6: Fagerquist (t), Zoot Sims, Dave Pell, Bill Holman (ts), Bob Gordon (bari), Donn Trenner (p), Vernon Polk (g), Buddy Clark (b), Bill Richmond (d), Wes Hensel (#4,5), Marty Paich (#6) (arr)
Hollywood, June 21, 1955

#7-8: Fagerquist (t) w/Russell Garcia & His Orchestra
Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Childers, Wes Hensel, Cappy Lewis (t), Murray McEachern, Harry Betts, Lloyd Ulyate, James Henderson, Joe Howard (tb), Herb Geller (as), Bill Ulyate (bari), John T. Williams (p), Howard Roberts (g), Max Bennett (b), Alvin Stoller (d)
Hollywood, July 1956

#9: Fagerquist (t), Howard Roberts (g), Rickey Marino, Bill Kurash (v), Stan Harris (vla), Fred Katz (vc), Bob Enevoldsen (b), Don Heath (d), Russell Garcia (arr,cond)
Hollywood, 1957

#10-12: Fagerquist (t) w/Russell Garcia & His Orchestra
incl. John T. Williams (p), Howard Roberts (g), Joe Comfort (b), Alvin Stoller (#10), Jack Sperling (#11-12) (d), Ted Nash (#12) (as)
Hollywood, 1957

#13: Fagerquist (t) w/Heinie Beau & His Hollywood All-Stars
John Graas (frh), Beau (cl), Buddy Collette (ts), Chuck Gentry (bari), Howard Roberts (g), Frank Flynn (xyl), Red Mitchell (b), Bill Richmond (d)
Hollywood, June 30, 1958

#14-15: Fagerquist (t), Bob Enevoldsen (vtb), Herb Geller (as), Ronny Lang (bari), Marty Paich (p,arr), Al Viola (g), Buddy Clark (b), Mel Lewis (d)
Hollywood, from the "Stars of Jazz" TV show, November 11, 1958

#16-17: Fagerquist (t) w/Les Brown & His Band of Renown
Al Porcino, Wes Hensel, Dick Collins, Jerry Kadowitz, Clinton McMahon (t), Roy Main, Dick Kenney, Jay Hill, Clyde Brown (tb), Matt Utal, Ralph LaPolla (as), Billy Usselton, Al Aaron (ts), Butch Stone (bari), Donn Trenner (p), Bob Bertaux (b), Mel Lewis (d), Bill Holman (arr)
Hollywood, May 29, 1959

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sal Salvador - Quintet and Quartet

Though this is a Blue Note reissue of two EPs, out on their Connoisseur 10-inch Series, only one of the two was originally released on that label. The first session, from 1953, is a group of quintets with little-known tenorman Frank Sokolow - one-time Chubby Jackson sideman with a pronounced swing inclination - and a couple of quartets without him. It emphasizes the crystal-toned, agreeable guitar work of ex-Stan Kenton Orchestra member Salvador, who's still active today, playing on six familiar standards. The other tracks, recorded the following year, appeared on Capitol as part of the Kenton Presents series. Along with a few retooled standards, these include some less-usual compositions by West Coast mainstays Manny Albam and Bill Holman, as well as Salvador's quite cool "Round Trip." Eddie Costa doubles on piano and vibes but stays out of the way enough to keep from making a murk of the guitar. ~ John Corbett

Sal Salvador (guitar)
Frank Sokolow (tenor sax)
Eddie Costa (vibraphone, piano)
Johnny Williams (piano)
Kenny O'Brien (bass)
Jimmy Gannon (bass)
Jimmy Campbell (drums)
Joe Morello (drums)

1. Gone With The Wind
2. Get Happy
3. My Old Flame
4. This Can't Be Love
5. Too Marvelous For Words
6. After You've Gone
7. Cabin In The Sky
8. See
9. Round Trip
10. Yesterdays
11. Down Home
12. Salutations
13. Violets For Your Furs
14. Now See Here, Man
15. Nothin' To Do
16. Boo Boo Be Doop
17. Autumn In New York
18. Wheels

Recorded on December 24, 1953, July 21, 1954 and on October 9, 1954

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tina Brooks - True Blue

" It is heartening to see an artist as obscure as tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks given the Rudy Van Gelder Edition treatment by Blue Note in this winning reissue. I have to admit surprise that Blue Note didn't marginalize Brooks, like Sam Rivers, in the label's limited-edition Connoisseur series. Frankly, Rivers is the more sophisticated artist with a potentially broader audience in my judgement, but Brooks has his lasting value also.

There is a terrifically pensive blues cry in every Brooks solo on this release that is mesmerizing. While he's often shadowed by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, the two gracefully bring out some profoundly thoughtful improvising from each other. None of the five tunes (and two alternative takes) are exactly inspiring tunes. But Brooks packs a lot of raw emotionality and innovative musical craft into his solos. Although the liner notes makes much of the Sonny Rollins influence, I actually hear a lot more of a tone I'd connect to Booker Erwin, Ornette Coleman, or Brooks' companion in the Blue Note recording studio, Jackie McLean. Anyone who enjoyed the dramatic support Brooks gave McLean on Jackie's Bag should treasure this, the only album Brooks released under his name as leader during his lifetime. Brooks sounds like a desperately driven musician wanting something beyond the bop of 1960 and never quite making the breakthrough to freedom that McLean found through his association with Ornette Coleman. The rhythm section of drummer Art Taylor, bassist Sam Jones, and pianist Duke Jordan simply never push him that hard to explore new musical territory. I wonder who Brooks would have become had he worked with a drummer like Eddie Blackwell or Elvin Jones.

What True Blue gives generously is a full blooded musical portrait of a hard-working and distinctive sounding tenor man with a blue cry stuck in his throat and heart. It is an achievement to treasure. " Norman Weinstein

Although a four-LP Mosaic box set purportedly includes every recording led by the obscure but talented tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks, this 1994 CD has previously unreleased alternate takes of "True Blue" and "Good Old Soul" that Mosaic overlooked.

Tina Brooks (tenor saxophone)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Duke Jordan (piano)
Sam Jones (double bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Good Ole Soul
2. Up Tight's Creek
3. Theme For Doris
4. True Blue
5. Miss Hazel
6. Nothing Ever Changes My Love For You
7. True Blue (Alternate Take)
8. Good Ole Soul

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, June 25, 1960

Dizzy Gillespie - Live at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival

With the 51st Monterey Jazz Festival right around the corner, here's a little flashback to 1965.

Dizzy Gillespie was a regular at the Monterey Jazz Festival, but the audience at the 1965 edition was witness to one very special performance. By this time Gillespie and the core members of his current band had already been together for a few years, and while they had jelled to a point that all bands hope to reach, where their interactions become wholly intuitive, they were also open to new innovation. From the first notes of "Trinidad, Goodbye," written by pianist Kenny Barron, the Gillespie group is locked into high gear, with the bandmembers feeding off one another's cues swiftly and creatively. Gillespie's trumpet plays tag with James Moody's blistering saxophone, and Barron keeps the sprightly melody moving atop the proceedings. "A Night in Tunisia," a highlight of any Gillespie set, is modernistic in its funky rhythm, Moody (on flute here), bassist Christopher White, and drummer Rudy Collins opening things up wide enough for Diz to jump in and take over, which he does in a freewheeling, jovial way. Over the course of its nearly 11 minutes, everyone gets a chance to shine, but in the end the piece belongs to the rhythm section. Speaking of which, not everything is taken at NASCAR speed here; there's plenty of breathing space, and in fact virtually all of the 11-plus-minute "Ungawa" is given over to guest conga player Big Black, a virtuoso on that instrument if ever there were one. Gillespie peeks in for a few moments, but even he must have wanted to stand by and watch, because he soon disappears and lets the drummer do what he's gotta do. The ballad "Day After" is a smooth respite following the fiery "Trinidad, Goodbye" opener, a shining example of Diz as bluesman, and the Caribbean-tinted "Poor Joe," on which Gillespie dares to sing, is a light note in an otherwise weighty affair. The only downside (other than the less than crisp sound quality, understandable for a 1965 live recording) is the five-minute comedy sketch midway through. Oh, it's funny, and the audience was in stitches. But on CD it's not something one needs to hear more than once, and it will cause many to reach for the fast-forward button to get on with the music. - Jeff Tamarkin

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet, vocals)
James Moody (tenor sax, flute)
Kenny Barron (piano)
Chris White (bass)
Rudy Collins (drums)
Big Black (congas)
  1. Introduction
  2. Trinidad, Goodbye
  3. Day After
  4. Poor Joe
  5. Dizzy's Comedy Sketch
  6. A Night in Tunisia
  7. Band Introduction
  8. Ungawa
  9. Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)
Recorded September 19, 1965

Monday, September 8, 2008

Roland Kirk - Early Roots

Rahsaan Roland Kirk's first recording predated his second by four years and would be a real obscurity until its reissue in the mid-'70s. Kirk at 20 already had a recognizable sound on tenor and, although he had not yet mastered the art of playing two or three horns at once, he did overdub his manzello and stritch on three of the selections released on his debut, hinting at the exciting innovations to come. The music is mostly blues and ballads with a touch of R&B thrown in, a good beginning to a unique career. ~ Scott Yanow

Roland Kirk (tenor sax)
James Madison (piano)
Carl Pruitt (bass)
Henry Duncan (drums)

1. Roland's Theme
2. Slow Groove
3. Stormy Weather
4. Nearness of You
5. La Carte
6. Easy Living
7. Triple Threat

New York: November 9, 1956

Jimmie Noone

Jimmie Noone - 1923-1928 (Chronological 604)

The material on Jimmie Noone's 1923-1928 is great; however, fans of New Orleans jazz should keep both eyes open in order not to get caught up in a web of duplication. In the end it would be insulting to downgrade the music itself simply because reissue companies more than half a century later insisted on stepping on each other's toes. The identical year that this release came out on the Classics imprint, the French EPM Musique line saw fit to put out many of the same tracks under the name of trumpeter Freddie Keppard. Both Keppard and Noone played in various bands led by Doc Cook, and it is these sessions by such groups as the Doc Cook Dreamland Orchestra that make up the bulk of both the Noone and Keppard collections. As if this wasn't confusing enough, the French company put out the material again in 1998 with a slightly different cover. Meanwhile the great Cook has yet to have his recipes brought to the table under his own name, but that's the music business for you. Noone created the balance of the material on the Classics set with his own Apex Orchestra, all told bringing the total number of different titles up to 23. It is a bit less material than on the French sides, which substitute the Noone bandleading efforts for tracks by the Erskine Tate Vendome Orchestra. Noone collectors will be thus forced into nabbing the Classics CD whether they have one or both of the other sets anyway, but hopefully should not be dissapointed by the lively, well-played music. In all cases it is a chance to experience a side of New Orleans jazz that has gotten much less play than the better-known small-combo styles. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

Jimmie Noone (clarinet)
Freddie Keppard (cornet)
Johnny St. Cyr (banjo)
Tommy Ladnier (cornet)
Andrew Hilaire (drums)

Jimmie Noone - 1928-1929 (Chronological 611)

Among Classics many Jimmie Noone discs, this collection of sides from 1928-1929 stands as the best. How could it not, what with it's wealth of top-notch material Noone and pianist Earl Hines cut while flourishing in the Chicago club scene. And while the overall quality of the ensemble playing is a bit subpar at times -- certainly, there's not much here to compare to Hines' contemporary triumphs with Louis Armstrong -- the sheer joy and deftness heard in Noone's solos and Hines' backing make for an enjoyable listen throughout. Along with picaresque Noone vocals like "Four of Five Times" and "Ready For the River," the 23-track mix includes such classics as "Apex Blues," "A Monday Date," and "Sweet Lorraine." This works very nicely as a generous and concise roundup of some of Noone's best work. ~ Stephen Cook

Jimmie Noone (clarinet)
Earl Hines (piano)
Junie C. Cobb (banjo, guitar)
Alexander Hill (piano)
Bud Scott (banjo, guitar)

Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass - Tribute (1980)

Another LP by Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass that has never been reissued on CD other than four tracks that were included with another LP on a compilation called Two Originals. Highlights include Moe Koffman's wailing alto on "Things Are Getting Better", Sam Noto and Guido Basso paying respects to Blue Mitchell on "Peace/Blue Silver", McConnell's lush arrangement of "My Bells", and his ingenious arrangement of Frank Rosolino's "Blue Daniel".

For this out-of-print Pausa LP, which was put out in Europe by MPS, arranger Rob McConnell pays tribute to six then-recently deceased jazz greats (Cannonball Adderley, Gary McFarland, Frank Rosolino, Blue Mitchell, Bill Evans and Paul Desmond) by playing a song written by each. With such soloists as altoist Moe Koffman (featured on "Things Are Getting Better"), trumpeters Guido Basso and Sam Noto, altoist Jerry Toth (playing Desmond's "Wendy") and pianist James Dale (heard on Evans' "My Bells"), there are plenty of fireworks heard throughout the date. But actually, the main stars are McConnell's inventive and swinging arrangements. - Scott Yanow

Rob McConnell (valve trombone, arrangements)
Arnie Chycoski, Erich Traugott, Guido Bass, Sam Noto, Dave Woods (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Ian McDougall, Bob Livingston, Dave McMurdo, Ron Hughes (trombone)
George Stimpson, Brad Warnaar (french horn)
Moe Koffman, Jerry Toth, Eugene Amaro, Rick Wilkins, Bob Leonard (reeds)
James Dale (piano)
Ed Bickert (guitar)
Don Thompson (bass)
Terry Clarke (drums)
Marty Morell (percussion)
  1. Things Are Getting Better
  2. Blue Hodge
  3. Blue Daniel
  4. Peace/Blue Silver
  5. My Bells
  6. Wendy

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tina Brooks - Back To The Tracks

The music that comprises Back to the Tracks was recorded in September 1960, months after the sessions for True Blue, but it sat on the shelves until Mosaic reissued it as part of their Complete Blue Note Recordings box, even though it was penciled in for release. Like Minor Move, Tina Brooks first session that stayed unreleased for over 20 years, Back to the Tracks is an excellent hard bop set, and it's hard to understand why it wasn't released at the time. Brooks leads a fantastic band featuring alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor through three originals and two standards. Each musician has opportunity to shine, but Brooks remains the center of attention. His style is remarkably fluid, capable of graceful, elegant turns on the ballads and clean, speedy improvisations on the up-tempo bop. Each of the five songs have breathtaking moments, confirming Brooks talents as a saxophonist, composer and leader. Listening to Back to the Tracks, it's impossible to figure out why the record wasn't released at the time, but it's a hard bop gem from the early '60s to cherish. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

While it's unfortunate that Tina Brooks did not have a very long career, he did contribute a great deal to the classic era of modern jazz. His Back To The Tracks session is a gem that should be on every fan's lists of discs to get. Brooks' tight, straightforward tone is crisp and confident alongside his legendary guests, who include Jackie McLean, Blue Mitchell, Kenny Drew, Paul Chambers, and Art Taylor. The opening title track and "The Blues and I" are excellent examples of Brooks' agile soloing prowess. "Street Singer" is a beautifully compelling piece, full of dark harmonies and a slinky groove that Chambers and Taylor lay down with a lot of soul. Of particular note is the smoky ballad "For Heaven's Sake," where Brooks displays a caressing touch that fills every note with the utmost tenderness. Although he wasn't as well known as Mobley, Henderson, or Gordon, Tina Brooks was a giant who passed too quickly from the scene. Back To The Tracks gives us a nice taste of what could have been.

Tina Brooks (tenor sax)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Back To The Tracks
2. Street Singer
3. The Blues And I
4. For Heaven's Sake
5. The Ruby And The Pearl

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 1 and October 20, 1960

João Gilberto - O mito (1998)

2008 marks the 50th year of Bossa Nova. Although there were predecessors, João Gilberto is the "father" of Bossa Nova and it was in 1958 that he released two singles (truly 78 rpms): "Chega de saudade (No more blues)/Bim-bom" in July and "Desafinado ("Off-key")/Bim-bom" em November. In 1959, these and others songs were brought together in a LP, "Chega de Saudade", which was a huge success.The Bossa Nova beat was created by João in his acoustic guitar and the arrangements in his first LP were made by Tom Jobim, which is the name many think when the words Bossa Nova are spoken, but which appointed to Gilberto as the truly creator of this rhythm. This CD, which was named "The Myth" by EMI, gathers the first three LPs recorded by João Gilberto: "Chega de Saudade" (1958), "O amor, o sorriso e a flor" (1959) and "João Gilberto" (1960).

1- Chega de saudade
2- Desafinado
3- Samba de uma nota só
4- O pato
5-Bolinha de papel
6- O amor em paz
7- Trevo de quatro folhas (I'm looking for a four leaf clover)
8- O barquinho
9- Lobo bobo
10- Bim bom
11- Ho-ba-la-lá
12- Aos pés da cruz
13- É luxo só
14- Outra vez
15- Coisa mais linda
16- Este seu olhar
17- Trenzinho (trem de ferro)
18- Brigas, nunca mais
19- Saudade fez um samba
20- Amor certinho
21- Insensatez
22- Rosa morena
23- Morena boca de ouro
24- Maria Ninguém
25- A primeira vez
26- Presente de Natal
27- Samba da minha terra
28- Saudade da Bahia
29- Corcovado
30- Só em teus braços
31- Meditação
32- Você e eu
33- Doralice
34- Discussão
35- Se é tarde me perdoa
36- Um abraço no Bonfá
37- Manhã de carnaval
38- Medley: O nosso amor/A felicidade

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dexter Gordon: Early and Late

This is by way of introducing what will be a stretch of Dexter Gordon titles; I justed picked up a dozen SteepleChase releases for a real good price. They will be appearing for a while.

Dexter Gordon - Young Dex Vol. 1 1941-1944

Dexter Gordon had such a colorful and eventful life (with three separate comebacks) that his story would make a great Hollywood movie. The top tenor saxophonist to emerge during the bop era and possessor of his own distinctive sound, Gordon sometimes was long-winded and quoted excessively from other songs, but he created a large body of superior work and could battle nearly anyone successfully at a jam session. His first important gig was with Lionel Hampton (1940-1943) although, due to Illinois Jacquet also being in the sax section, Gordon did not get any solos. In 1943, he did get to stretch out on a recording session with Nat "King" Cole. Short stints with Lee Young, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, and Louis Armstrong's big band preceded his move to New York in December 1944 and becoming part of Billy Eckstine's Orchestra.

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet)
Nat "King" Cole (piano)
Red Callender or Johnny Miller (bass)
Clifford "Juicy" Owens (drums)
Los Angeles, late 1943 or circa July, 1944

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Bill Harris (trombone)
Herbie Steward (tenor sax)
Jimmie Rowles (piano)
Al Hendrickson (guitar)
Howard Rumsey (bass)
Dave Coleman (drums)
Music City Studio, Hollywood, circa 1943 or 1944

Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Sahib Shihab (alto sax)
Horace Henderson (piano)
NBC Studio, Hollywood, April 24 and May 1, 1944

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
Louis Armstrong (trumpet)
Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
New York, May 19 & 20, 1944

Lionel Hampton And His Orchestra
Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Illinois Jacquet (tenor sax)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Ernie Royal (trumpet)
Marshall Royal (alto sax, clarinet)
Jack McVea (baritone sax)
Lionel Hampton (vibes)
Sir Charles Thompson (piano)
Shadow Wilson (drums)
"Panther Room", Hotel Sherman, Chicago, September 26, 1941

1. I've Found A New Baby - Dexter Gordon Quintet
2. Rosetta
3. Sweet Lorraine
4. I Blowed And Gone
5. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
6. I Know That You Know
7. Dickie's Dream (Part 1)
8. Dickie's Dream (Part 2)
9. Take The 'A' Train
10. I Got Rhythm
11. Keep 'Em Swingin'
12. Stompin' At The Savoy
13. Bugle Blues (Bugle Call Rag)
14. Jeep Rhythm
15. Clap Hands! Here Comes Charley!
16. Ain't Misbehavin'
17. Keep On Jumpin'
18. Keep On Jumpin'
19. King Porter Stomp
20. Ain't Misbehavin'
21. Stompin' At The Savoy
22. Perdido
23. Ain't Misbehavin'
24. Train Time

Dexter Gordon - Sophisticated Giant

Dex was still signed to SteepleChase when this Columbia title was released. There is a later re-issue with two extra titles, but they are on, I think, Manhattan Serenade which has been posted previously. I don't find this to be as great as Scotty Yanow does.

This excellent Columbia album was recorded less than a year after Dexter Gordon's well-publicized tour of the United States following a dozen years spent living in Europe. With assistance from such other major players as trumpeters Woody Shaw and Benny Bailey, vibraphonist Bobby Gordon sounds in superlative form on Woody Shaw's "The Moontrame," four standards and his own "Fried Bananas." In addition to the original program (which features Dexter with an all-star tentet). An excellent acquisition. ~ Scott Yanow

Dexter Gordon (soprano, tenor sax)
Woody Shaw (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Benny Bailey (trumpet, flugelhorn)
George Cables (piano)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Slide Hampton (trombone)
Wayne Andre (trombone)
Frank Wess (flute, piccolo, alto sax)
Howard Johnson (tuba, baritone sax)
Rufus Reid (bass)
Victor Lewis (drums)

1. Laura
2. The Moontrane
3. Red Top
4. Fried Bananas
5. You're Blasé
6. How Insensitive

Louis Prima And His Orchestra - 1940-1944 (Chronological 1201)

During 1940-1941, Louis Prima led a medium-size (ten-piece) combo, which by 1944 had expanded to a full big band. Although a popular figure during this era, Prima was not quite a star and his big band never really caught on. The 23 numbers on this good-natured CD include a couple instrumentals ("To You, Sweetheart, Aloha" and the swinging "Look Out"), novelties, vocal numbers for Lily Ann Carroll, and the debut versions of "Robin Hood," "Angelina," and "Oh Marie" (which hints at Prima's 1950s rendition). The leader is the main star throughout the historic release. ~ Scott Yanow

Louis Prima (trumpet, vocal)
Sonny Berman (piano, trombone, trumpet, alto sax)
Al Porcino (trumpet)

1. To you, Sweetheart, Aloha
2. Say "Si,Si"
3. Sing-A-Spell
4. Gleeby Rhythm Is Born
5. Dance With A Dolly
6. Daydreams Come True At Night
7. Look Out
8. Percy Have Mercy
9. Tica-Tee, Tica-Ta
10. Forgive Me
11. Robin Hood (instr.)
12. Robin Hood (vocal)
13. I'll Be Seeing You
14. I'll Walk Alone
15. Is My Baby Blue Tonight?
16. Kentucky
17. A Fellow On A Furlough
18. Louise
19. There's A Lot Of Moonlight Being Wasted
20. Angelina
21. Dance With A Dolly
22. The White Cliffs Of Dover
23. Oh Marie

Al Cohn & Zoot Sims - Body and Soul (1973)

Other than a couple of albums for tiny collector's labels, this Muse album was Al Cohn's first album as a leader since 1962. Cohn had spent much of the interim as a full-time writer for studios and was finally returning to active playing. He renewed his musical partnership with Zoot Sims on this quintet date for Muse, which also includes pianist Jaki Byard, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Mel Lewis. Cohn and Sims still had very complementary sounds and personalities, so their collaboration on Body and Soul [Muse] holds its own against their earlier dates. Zoot switches to soprano on "Jean"; Cohn is in top form on "Body and Soul." and the three-song "Brazilian Medley" works quite well. This is pleasing and frequently lyrical music. - Scott Yanow

It's possible that the twin towers of the tenor saxophone, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, still do not get enough credit for leading the only real longstanding working band to feature the big horns. This reissue of a 1973 single album for the Muse label was reissued on 32 Jazz, and now for the third time around courtesy of Pony Canyon. The great bop jam "Doodle Oodle" and ultimately soulful "Blue Hodge" bookend a sweet Brazilian medley, ballad standards, and lesser-known bluesy vehicles for the two master tenors. The rhythm section members -- pianist Jaki Byard, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Mel Lewis -- are super-skilled beyond reproach. It's not their best or most essential work, but a very good example of how their teamwork continued into their later years. - Michael G. Nastos

Al Cohn (tenor sax)
Zoot Sims (tenor, soprano sax)
Jaki Byard (piano)
George Duvivier (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
  1. Doodle Oodle
  2. Emily
  3. Brazilian Medley: Recado Bossa Nova/The Girl from Ipanema/One Note Samba
  4. Mama Flossie
  5. Body and Soul
  6. Jean
  7. Blue Hodge
Recorded March 23, 1973

Chet Baker - Stella By Starlight

Here's an Italian bootleg compiling some live tracks by Chet Baker from various European concerts, spanning 1959-1978, featuring among others Bob Mover, Jacques Pelzer, Georges Arvanitas, Phil Markowitz, Larry Ridley and Kenny Clark. Most of the music comes from two 1975 concerts given in Nice, France.

Please take note that the details given on the cover are wrong in several cases, here's the best I could find, as far as discographical information goes:

Chet Baker (t), George Arvanitas (p), Guy Pedersen (d), Kenny Clarke (d)
1. Milestones (6:25)
Paris, France, August 1959

Chet Baker (voc), Jacques Pelzer (fl), Harold Danko (p), Isla Eckinger (b)
2. Deep In a Dream (6:38) (CB voc)
Music Inn Club, Rome, Italy, poss. January-February 1976

Chet Baker (t), Phil Markowitz (p), Scott Lee (b), Jeff Brillinger (d)
3. Once upon a Summertime (13:05)
Live, Chateauvallon, France, November 10, 1978
Other released titles from this date: Oh, You Crazy Moon (CB voc), There will Never Be Another You (CB vcl), Love for Sale, Beautiful Black Eyes

Chet Baker (t), Bob Mover (as), Larry Ridley (b), David Lee (d)
4. Mr. B. (7:16)
5. I Waited For You (5:41)
Radio & TV broadcast, Nice, France, July 24, 1975

Chet Baker (t), Larry Ridley (b), Ray Mosca (d)
6. Stella By Starlight (10:48)
7. For Minors Only (7:25) [listed as "Witchcraft"]
Radio & TV broadcast, Nice, France, July 20, 1975

Friday, September 5, 2008

Red Norvo

The V Disc Masters

This CD from the VJC label features vibraphonist Red Norvo's V-Disc sessions of 1943-44. Most of the music (which includes some breakdowns and alternate takes) finds Norvo leading an octet that includes trumpeter Dale Pearce, trombonist Dick Taylor, clarinetist Aaron Sachs and the tenor of Flip Phillips; Carol Bruce has three vocals and Helen Ward takes two, but the highpoints are instrumental versions of "1-2-3-4 Jump," "Seven Come Eleven" and "Flyin' Home." The last three titles (from 1944) feature Norvo leading a quintet with clarinetist Aaron Sachs. Overall, this CD contains plenty of fine examples of late swing, just before the influence of bop began to be felt on the principle's styles. Recommended to fans of the era. ~ Scott Yanow

1 - Carol Bruce Spoken Intro
2 - Something For The Boys
3 - Abraham
4 - Embraceable You
5 - 1-2-3-4 Jump
6 - Seven Come Eleven
7 - In A Mellotone
8 - Flyin' Home
9 - Too Marvellous For Words (Breakdown)
10 - Too Marvellous For Words (Breakdown)
11 - Too Marvellous For Words (Take 1)
12 - Too Marvellous For Words (Take 3)
13 - I'll Be Around (Take 2)
14 - The Sergeant On Furlough (Alt Take)
15 - The Sergeant On Furlough (Master Take)
16 - NBC Jump
17 - Lagwood Walk
18 - Red Dust
19 - Blue Skies
20 - Purple Feathers

The Red Norvo Trio - The Savoy Sessions

It took a very rare musical mind to successfully adapt the xylophone and marimba to jazz improvisation, as Norvo did in the 1930s. The same grasp of fresh possibilities was at work when he formed this trio, in 1950, with two of the finest young musicians then playing bop. With the instrumentation of Norvo's vibraphone, Tal Farlow's electric guitar, and Charles Mingus's already virtuosic bass, there's an almost absolute equivalence of parts. The three go beyond their obvious gifts as soloists to create seamlessly flowing counterpoint and richly detailed collective improvisations that live at the edges of every jazz form, from swing to bop to cool, and at the heart of the idea of jazz itself. This group represents one of the key events in the development of chamber jazz, a brilliant evolution of the Benny Goodman trio and a significant precursor of such groups as the Modern Jazz Quartet and Jimmy Giuffre's many trios. --Stuart Broomer

Red Norvo (vibes)
Tal Farlow (guitar)
Charles Mingus (bass)

1. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
2. Time And Tide
3. Little White Lies
4. Prelude To A Kiss
5. Move
6. September Song
7. I'm Yours
8. I Get A Kick Out Of You
9. Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart
10. Cheek To Cheek
11. Night And Day
12. Godchild
13. Mood Indigo
14. If I Had You
15. Deed I Do
16. I'll Remember April
17. This Can't Be Love
18. I've Got You Under My Skin
19. Swedish Pastry
20. Have You Met Miss Jones

Eric Dolphy - The Complete Prestige Recordings CDs 1-4

"Only six years separated Eric Dolphy's first public recognition as a member of Chico Hamilton's Quintet and premature death on June 29, 1964, but during that short period the remarkable Los Angeles-born multi-instrumentalist created enough unique music to inspire several generations of players. Not only did Dolphy have instantly recognizable yet very different sounds on alto, bass clarinet (a horn that he virtually introduced to jazz as a solo instrument), and flute, but he developed his own musical vocabulary with it original logic and innovative approach to harmony.

The busiest period of Eric Dolphy's too-brief career was during 1960 and 1961 when his recordings as a leader were made exclusively for Prestige and its New Jazz subsidiary. On the definitive nine-CD boxed set, all of Dolphy's Prestige/New Jazz sessions are reissued complete and in chronological order, including the albums Outward Bound, Here and There, Out There, Caribé, Far Cry, Straight Ahead, and Eric Dolphy in Europe as well as the marathon Five Spot sessions with trumpeter Booker Little, and dates as a sideman with Oliver Nelson, Ken McIntyre, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Ron Carter, and Mal Waldron. Among the other notable musicians heard on these timeless performances are trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Richard Williams, tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, pianists Jaki Byard, Richard Wyands, Walter Bishop, Jr. and Mal Waldron, bassists George Duvivier, Sam Jones, and Richard Davis, and drummers Roy Haynes, Charlie Persip, Arthur Taylor, and Ed Blackwell.

Over three decades later Eric Dolphy's music is still stimulating, exciting, and fresh. It was clearly ahead of its time."

Friday Fusion

Norman Connors - Dark of Light (1973)

Before Norman Connors ventured into the commercial R&B arena in 1975, he made several albums for Cobblestone and Buddah Records that were extensions of his previous work with Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders and Sam Rivers. The first three tracks are the more fusion oriented songs on the album while the last three are more "free". The title tune opens with Ted Dunbar's acoustic guitar, Eddie Henderson's trumpet and Dee Dee Bridgewater's wordless vocals before heading into an Afro-fusion groove that features solos by Henderson, Carlos Garnett on soprano, Herbie Hancock on rhodes, and Dunbar again on electric guitar. "Butterfly Dreams" appeared first on Stanley Clarke's album Children of Forever and Herbie Hancock plays some magnificent electric piano on this Norman Connors arrangement. Stanley Clarke lays down a funky bass line to start his composition "Laughter" with the melody played by unison flute and bassoon."Black Lightnin" is almost 12 minutes of frenetic, high energy explorations where Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson and Carlos Garnett have extended workouts. Carlos Garnett's opening honk sets the tone for the eerie group improvisations of "Twilight Zone" whereas "Song for Rosa" is much more peaceful, featuring the flute of Art Webb, Cecil McBee on bass, and Herbie Hancock on piano.

This album and its predecessor, Dance of Magic, really should have gotten more recognition. They were both on a CD 2-fer reissue back in 1995 which has since gone out of print.

Eddie Henderson (trumpet)
Carlos Garnett (soprano & tenor sax)
Gary Bartz (alto sax)
Art Webb (flute)
Herbie Hancock (electric & acoustic piano)
Cecil McBee (bass)
Norman Connors (drums)
Lawrence Killian, Warren Smith (percussion)
Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocals)
Ted Dunbar (guitars on "Dark of Light")
Alan Gumbs (acoustic piano on "Black Lightnin")
Buster Williams (bass on "Dark of Light")
Stanley Clarke (bass on "Laughter")

Contributions 4

Links that are taken from other sites, or that are not your own rips and uploads will be removed.

Please note:

If you have to amend or add info to a post, please consolidate them all in one new post.

Hank Mobley Sextet - Hank Mobley

Another of those Japan-O-Phonic (aka TOCJ) releases of harder to find Blue Note stuff. This, in particular, is one of the rarest Blue Note titles in vinyl form. One story says that the initial print run was 500 (if these were rare books, the story would be that they were destroyed in a warehouse fire) and copies of the vinyl in collectors condition top 3 grand.

Mobley's reputation has gone up and down over the years, although it is now pretty secure. He started out that way also; Clifford Brown - without actually having heard him - knew that his rep was good enough to recommend him for work in his early days.

To put this in context, this was one of fifteen studio sessions Mobley participated in during 1957: dates with Kenny Burrell, Horace Silver, Johnny Griffin, and Curtis Fuller among others. Just less than a month after this date he was working on Sonny Clark's Dial "S" For Sonny.

And just for the record; Curtis Porter is better known around here as Shafi Hadi.

Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Bill Hardman (trumpet)
Curtis Porter (alto, tenor sax)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Mighty Moe And Joe
2. Falling In Love With Love
3. Bags' Groove
4. Double Exposure
5. News

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey: June 23, 1957

Passport - Cross-Collateral (1975)

In the comments from my Doldinger/Passport post from last Friday, I learned that it was alpax who initiated "Fusion Friday." I hope he will jump back into it....there are at least three of us out here who will appreciate the effort, maybe more. Avantgrape pointed out that Doldinger Jubilee '75 has more funk and less fusion than other Passport. He's right, so here is one more solidly in the fusion camp. No review jumped out, so here it is - take your chances.

And if this doesn't work for you, I could expand the parameters of the category beyond reason while severely lowering the bar and post some Spyro Gyra. But then I'd have to buy it, so you're all off the hook.

Klaus Doldinger (tenor and soprano sax)
Curt Cress (drums and percussion)
Kristian Schultze (piano and organ)
Wolfgang Schmid (bass and guitar)

1. Homununculus
2. Cross-Collateral
3. Jadoo
4. Will-O'The Wisp
5. Albatros song
6. Damals

Phil Woods - Woodlore

Altoist Phil Woods' second recording as a leader has been reissued as a rather brief 33-minute CD. Accompanied by a quiet but swinging rhythm section (pianist John Williams, bassist Teddy Kotick, and drummer Nick Stabulas), Woods swings hard on four standards (including "Slow Boat to China" and "Be My Love"), plus a pair of his originals: "Strollin' with Pam" and "Woodlore." The altoist displays plenty of energy and a strong command of the bebop vocabulary, sounding quite enthusiastic. ~ Scott Yanow

Phil Woods (alto sax)
John Williams (piano)
Teddy Kotick (bass)
Nick Stabulas (drums)

1. Woodlore
2. Falling In Love All Over Again
3. Be My Love
4. On A Slow Boat To China
5. Get Happy
6. Strollin' With Pam

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Joe Lovano & Gonzalo Rubalcaba - Flying Colors (1997)

I've enjoyed following the discussion on "free" jazz and thought that this album would continue to "stir the pot" a little more. This is not my favorite music by either one of these musicians but it's a nice change of pace - a little more adventurous than their usual output. And I do enjoy music that starts inside and then goes outside.

Looking for reviews, I ran into these opposites on Amazon. I'm more inclined to agree with the latter. How about you?

"Rubalcava and Lovano might be great on their own but together they suck, at least on this cd. Like oil and water, they do not mix well. This was a major disappointment, so much so that I got rid of it. I do admit that I did hear potential for some major jams so I am willing to buy another one of his cd's and try it, since I believe there is a monster in there but not in this one. I like Chucho Valdes, Hilton Ruiz, Ruben Gonzalez, Papo Luca, Palmieri, etc. and I thought this would be more along those lines. Mr. Rubalcava should stick to his genre. For full blown jazz I'll listen to Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson. For dissonant jazz I listen to nobody, I don't care how good the performer is supposed to be. Dissonant music, isn't that an oxymoron. We 'll try once more." - A Customer

"In looking at the other review for this album, I think it's a poor qualification to talk about an album if you are specifically 'against' or have a predisposition to disliking this style of music. Just in the fact that you don't like the music inclines you to be unqualitfied to talk about it, seeing as you don't listen to the music in the same way you would listen to something you find fantastic. Believing that free jazz is not music and then reviewing it is about as convincing as reading a review of TuPac's All Eyez On Me written by Brooks and Dunn.

Aside from that, this album is rich and complex in its musicality. Lovano as much as ever plays with great care to his ideas, with intense honesty, and an ever listening ear towards Rubalcaba's playing. For those who can appreciate all the musical nuances of phrasing, a wide variety of emotion in playing, and can get past having to latch on to tonalities(Actually the title track is a Blues in B for those of you looking for new ideas over old blues), this album provides a wealth of musical communications between these two solid players." - Eric Perry

Joe Lovano (straight tenor sax, soprano sax, alto clarinet, drums, gongs)
Gonzalo Rubalcaba (piano)
  1. Flying Colors
  2. How Deep Is the Ocean
  3. Boss Town
  4. Bird Food
  5. Spontaneous Color
  6. Phantasm
  7. Ugly Beauty
  8. Hot House
  9. Gloria's Step
  10. Mr. Hyde
  11. I Love Music
  12. Along Came Betty
Recorded January 11, 1997

Osie Johnson - Osie's Oasis

Although having performed and recorded with many of the top mainstream jazz artists of his time, Osie Johnson rarely went into the recording studio as a leader. Original Jazz Classics has reissued two sessions Johnson made for the Period label in February of 1955 while with the Count Basie Orchestra. Many of his sidemen are from the same Basie aggregation. Thad Jones and Frank Wess, the latter on both tenor and flute, were used to being in the spotlight, and their talents are fully utilized throughout this session. But there are solo opportunities for Basie players who rarely got a chance to show their wares while with the Count. For example, "Midnight Mirage" features Charlie Fowlkes and Ernie Wilkens on baritone and alto saxophones, respectively. Erstwhile trombonist Henry Coker solos on "The Desert Song," "Cokernut Tree," and "I Don't Want to Cry Anymore." Bill Hughes, Coker's playing partner in the Basie trombone section, gets time on "Cat Walk." One of the few participants not a member of the Basie bunch, pianist Dick Katz glistens on "Jumpin' at the Water Hole." As one would expect, the ensemble work is excellent. Johnson did most of the writing and arranging for this session. He also vocalizes on his "Don't Bug Me, Hug Me." With the exception of "Osmosis," where he and Benny Powell exchange ideas, Johnson does little soloing. It's apparent from the bright and lively playing that all participants are having a good time. Osie's Oasis is a fine mainstream swinging session with gifted jazz professionals which will delight most fans. To help maintain to the authenticity of the reissue, Leonard Feather's original liner notes are included. ~ Dave Nathan

Osie Johnson (drums)
Thad Jones (trumpet)
Chiefy Salaam (trumpet)
Dick Katz (piano)
Frank Wess (flute tenor sax)
Henry Coker (trombone)
Milt Hinton (bass)

1. Osie's Oasis
2. Blues For The Camels
3. Cokernut Tree
4. The Desert Song
5. Midnight Mirage
6. Jumpin' At The Water Hole
7. Cat Walk
8. Flute To Boot
9. I Don't Want To Cry Anymore
10. Johnson's Whacks
11. Osmosis
12. Don't Bug Me, Hug Me

Archie Shepp Quartet - Lady Bird (1978)

I couldn't locate a useful review of this album, so I've put up this bio as a weak substitute. A minor (but not for me) omission is that he played briefly with Frank Zappa in 1984.

Archie Shepp has been at various times a feared firebrand and radical, soulful throwback and contemplative veteran. He was viewed in the '60s as perhaps the most articulate and disturbing member of the free generation, a published playwright willing to speak on the record in unsparing, explicit fashion about social injustice and the anger and rage he felt. His tenor sax solos were searing, harsh, and unrelenting, played with a vivid intensity. But in the '70s, Shepp employed a fatback/swing-based R&B approach, and in the '80s he mixed straight bebop, ballads, and blues pieces displaying little of the fury and fire from his earlier days. Shepp studied dramatic literature at Goddard College, earning his degree in 1959. He played alto sax in dance bands and sought theatrical work in New York. But Shepp switched to tenor, playing in several free jazz bands. He worked with Cecil Taylor, co-led groups with Bill Dixon and played in the New York Contemporary Five with Don Cherry and John Tchicai. He led his own bands in the mid-'60s with Roswell Rudd, Bobby Hutcherson, Beaver Harris, and Grachan Moncur III. His Impulse albums included poetry readings and quotes from James Baldwin and Malcolm X. Shepp's releases sought to paint an aural picture of African-American life, and included compositions based on incidents like Attica or folk sayings. He also produced plays in New York, among them The Communist in 1965 and Lady Day: A Musical Tragedy in 1972 with trumpeter/composer Cal Massey. But starting in the late '60s, the rhetoric was toned down and the anger began to disappear from Shepp's albums. He substituted a more celebratory, and at times reflective attitude. Shepp turned to academia in the late '60s, teaching at SUNY in Buffalo, then the University of Massachusetts. He was named an associate professor there in 1978. Shepp toured and recorded extensively in Europe during the '80s, cutting some fine albums with Horace Parlan, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and Jasper van't Hof. He has recorded extensively for Impulse, Byg, Arista/Freedom, Phonogram, Steeplechase, Denon, Enja, EPM, and Soul Note among others over the years. Unfortunately his tone declined from the mid-'80s on (his highly original sound was his most important contribution to jazz), and Shepp became a less significant figure in the 1990s than one might have hoped. - Ron Wynn and Scott Yanow

Jaki Byard (Piano)
Roy Haynes (Drums)
Cecil McBee (Bass)
Archie Shepp (Alto Sax)

1. Donna Lee
2 Relaxin' at Camarillo
3. Now's the Time
4. Lady Bird Dameron
5. Flamingo

Roland Kirk - Rip, Rig And Panic and Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith

This compact disc combines two quartet albums by Roland Kirk recorded two years apart. Both feature primarily Kirk's original compositions and two of the finest rhythm sections he ever recorded with. Rip, Rig, and Panic (first released on Limelight) is acknowledged by many to be his single greatest session. While Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith (the only session he did for Verve -- done while he was between his Mercury and Atlantic contracts) is not widely known, it is in many ways an overlooked gem.

Roland Kirk was a sublime one-man musical circus, whether playing three reeds at once, overblowing a flute, blasting a whistle to end a solo, or simply playing tenor saxophone with as much passion and invention as almost any other musician in jazz. This CD combines two complete Kirk LPs, Rip, Rig and Panic from 1965 and Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith from 1967. The former is justifiably one of Kirk's most famous records, and it has possibly the most incendiary backing group he ever recorded with--secure, inventive, and prodding. Fueled by Jaki Byard's contrapuntal comping and flights into stride and atonality, Richard Davis's edge-of-the-beat bass lines, and Elvin Jones's polyrhythmic drumming, Kirk responds aggressively. His tenor improvisations on "No Tonic Pres" and "From Byas, Bechet, and Fats" are volcanic, while his manzello (a single reed in the soprano saxophone range) is piquantly lyrical on "Black Diamonds." Always an innovator, Kirk adds electronically altered sounds to "Slippery, Hippery, Flippery" and shattering glass to the brilliant title piece. The later session is relatively subdued but still distinguished, with a more conventional rhythm section in pianist Lonnie Liston Smith, bassist Ronnie Boykins, and drummer Grady Tate. "Blue Rol" has Kirk paying glorious tribute to the Ellington reed section, playing three horns at once before using circular breathing on manzello and then turning in a tenor solo worthy of an Ellingtonian like Ben Webster or Harold Ashby. "Why Don't They Know" is percolating bossa nova, while the title tune is a beautiful ballad. This is essential Kirk, and also a perfect introduction to his work. ~ Stuart Broomer

Roland Kirk (tenor sax, manzello, stritch, flute, siren, castanets)
Jaki Byard (piano)
Richard Davis (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, January 13, 1965

1. No Tonic Press
2. Once In A While
3. From Bechet, Byas, And Fats
5. Rip, Rig And Panic
6. Black Diamond
7. Slippery Hippery Flippery

Roland Kirk (tenor sax, manzello, stritch, flute, siren, castanets)
Lonnie Liston Smith (piano)
Ronald Boykins (bass)
Grady Tate (drums)
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, May 2, 1967

8. Blue Rol
9. Alfie
10. Why Don't They Know
11. Silverlization
12. Fall Out
13. Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith
14. Stompin' Grounds
15. It's A Grand Night For Swinging

Sonny Rollins-trio and quartet, Paris 1965,Copenhagen1968(boot)

Heres some tasty live stuff by Sonny Rollins one of my personal favorites.

The tension that’s generated by Rollins restless attempts at breaking free of standard song forms..in the process of taking them apart, simultaneously gleefully stringing reams of tunes together…in what at times seems a parodic mockery of “showmanship” wow, it’s breathtaking.
This is free wheeling stuff, the 65 Paris show featured the saxophone trios of both ornette coleman and lee konitz on the same bill.

Disc 2 ,recorded at the monmartre in Copenhagen with Kenny drew, features a lovely version of naima.
There are a few dropouts in the Paris show ..where the tape heads were excessively dirty..a conspicuous edit point too I think..but this is superb, riveting from start to finish.

Folk’s id desperately love to sample some of y’r live Rollins boots..Especially from the 50’s and 60’s.
I’ve got one more on cd paris 63,and a couple on vinyl (from 1959,in Stockholm, Paris and germany..all in poor sound)…please post up!!!

Paris nov 4 1965
Rollins, Gilbert Rovert-db, Art taylor-dr

Copenhagen sept 6 1968
Rollins, NHOP-db, Kenny Drew-P, Al"Tootie'Heath-dr

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Julius Watkins - Julius Watkins Sextet, Vols. 1-2

Before the rise of bebop, the French horn was never heard as an improvising instrument in jazz. John Graas, who worked with Stan Kenton and Shorty Rogers, was the first jazz French horn player to lead his own record date, in 1953. However, Julius Watkins soon surpassed him as a major soloist and would be the top jazz French horn player to emerge until the 1990s. He appeared as a soloist on a Thelonious Monk date in 1953 next to Sonny Rollins, and in 1954-1955 recorded music for a pair of very rare Blue Note 10" LPs. All of the latter performances are on this CD reissue. The 42 minutes of music find Watkins heading sextets with either Frank Foster or Hank Mobley on tenor, guitarist Perry Lopez, George Butcher or Duke Jordan on piano, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and Kenny Clarke or Art Blakey on drums. The French horn/tenor front line is an attractive sound (substitute Watkins for a trombonist, and one has the Jazz Crusaders); when Watkins formed Les Jazz Modes (which lasted for five years) a few years later, he would use Charlie Rouse as his tenor. The French horn might be a difficult instrument, but Watkins played it with the warmth of a trombone and nearly the fluidity of a trumpet. All nine straight-ahead selections on his CD are group originals, with Duke Jordan's future standard "Jordu" being heard in one of its earliest versions. Overall, the music fits into the modern mainstream of the period. This early effort by Julius Watkins is easily recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Julius Watkins (French horn)
Duke Jordan (piano)
Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Frank Foster (tenor sax)
George Butcher (piano)
Perry Lopez (guitar)
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. Linda Delia
2. Perpetuation
3. I Have known
4. Leete
5. Garden Delights
6. Julie Ann
7. Sparkling Burgundy
8. B And B
9. Jor-Du

Steve Lacy and Evan Parker - Chirps

This must have been a hell of a concert to see. In 1985, Steve Lacy went to Berlin to play four different concerts, all of them duets with a different partner. Two of them were with pianists, one was with a dancer, and the last was with fellow soprano saxophonist Evan Parker. Given Lacy's gargantuan stature as the foremost jazz soprano saxophonist in the world, and Parker's as the most important member of the British free jazz and new music scene with the exception of Derek Bailey, this had the potential to be one hell of a show. If this recording is any indication of what that evening was like, then it was all that and more. Apparently, each player had the opportunity to play a solo set before this encounter took place. When the two men joined, magic happened. Both players, rather than come out steaming or with deference to the other, entered the musical sphere lyrically with subtlety and elegance. First Lacy, then Parker, went weaving and winding around each other, slipping through an instantaneous modal syntax that gave the other room to move inside and work out from. It would appear the two rehearsed this set because it was so perfectly timed and executed. The three "movements" or "sections" or "selections" all contained their moments of intensity, but none broke the seam of the sound world created by the pair. "Full Scale" was a work out for scales from Lacy's recorded practice books as interpreted by Parker. Next, "Relations" featured each man quoting from his inspirations before creating a new improvisation from the quotes. So different were the quotes, one would have to know the entire history of jazz and classical music to sort through them. But when combined, a tapestry of new jazz was sketched and then emerged fully formed. Finally, "Twittering" offered Lacy's worship of Thelonious Monk and Parker's reading of Lacy reading Monk. It is fascinating to hear how these soloists come just behind one another, as if the entire thought appeared in the moment of the other's first note! This improvisation swings the hardest as each man takes part in creating "rhythm" from the spaces in between themes. They actually end up in the same place at the same time more often than not.

Added to the disc are three selections recorded after the concert. Titled "Nocturnal Chirps," they too are of interest, but are too brief in and of themselves for the players to really sink their teeth in. No matter, they are still brilliant if tiny glimpses into the partnership that was forged on this truly magical night. This is essential listening for Lacy and/or Parker fans. Many kudos to FMP for this one. ~ Thom Jurek

Steve Lacy (soprano sax)
Evan Parker (soprano sax)

1. Full Scale
2. Relations
3. Twittering
4. Nocturnal Chirps 1
5. Nocturnal Chirps 2
6. Nocturnal Chirps 3

VIDEO: Duke Ellington Live in Amsterdam

A 1958 appearance, looks like a recording from TV - another program from the Jazz Icons - Reelin' in the Years series. Video quality is middling, but the sound is quite good considering. And there are some great solos by Paul Gonsalves and Johnny Hodges, who I was sure must have been playing a slide saxophone, but in the video it, incredibly, seems like a plain vanilla sax. How do he do it?? Once again, a DivX video with full 320k mp3 audio.

Hal McKusick Plays... Betty St. Claire Sings

Here's a weirdly titled album. I was hoping it would contain some more McKusick, but he's only on a few of the titles, alas. Anyway, everything with McKusick is worth being heard, so here 'tis!

AMG Review by Dave Nathan:

This Fresh Sound reissue of a Jubilee Records LP made in 1955 in New York City is an entertaining snapshot (35 minutes of recording time doesn't allow for much more) of a young singer who, like so many others, came, made a small splash, and then seemed to vanish from the scene. Prior to cutting this album, Betty St. Claire worked with Dizzy Gillespie's 1949 band. She also spent some time with Erroll Garner and Howard McGhee. Sounding like Anita O'Day, on this album she is paired with multi-instrumentalist Hal McKusick for 11 familiar and one not so familiar melodies, each averaging just under three minutes. The lack of playing time doesn't allow for in-depth exploration of the music. Like many of the song stylists of the day, (e.g., O'Day and June Christy), St. Clair adopted the cool, vibratoless mode of singing. There's an abundance of good swinging stuff here. On "East of the Sun" and "I Hadn't Anyone Till You," St. Claire moves out with Barry Galbraith's guitar following close behind. While McKusick is given co-billing on the album, he is only on "Out of Nowhere," "What Is There to Say?," "Almost Like Being in Love," and "Here Comes Trouble Again." When he does appear, his presence is felt through his clarinet on "Out of Nowhere" and with a boppish alto on "Almost Like Being in Love." St. Claire has Eddie Swanson, Barry Galbraith, Addison Farmer, and Herb Lovelle backing her on the eight remaining cuts. A combination of comfortable tunes, fine arrangements, and good musicians makes this album a pleasant reprise of the cool vocal jazz of the 1950s by one of its more talented exponents.

1. Out of Nowhere (Green/Heyman) - 2:16
2. What Is There to Say? (Duke/Harburg) - 3:33
3. East of the Sun (Bowman) - 2:28
4. Prelude to a Kiss (Ellington/Gordon/Mills) - 3:55
5. That Old Black Magic (Arlen/Mercer) - 2:27
6. I Hadn't Anyone Till You (Noble) - 2:20
7. Almost Like Being in Love (Lerner/Loewe) - 2:45
8. Here Comes Trouble Again (Boyd/Grand) - 3:20
9. My One and Only Love (Gershwin/Gershwin) - 4:08
10. Why Try to Change Me Now (Coleman/McCarthy) - 3:21
11. Skylark (Carmichael/Mercer) - 3:12
12. Give Me the Simple Life (Bloom/Ruby) - 1:57

#1, 2, 7, 8:
Hal McKusick (cl, as), Phil Sunkel (t), Billy Byers (tb), Jimmy Raney (g), Gene DiNovi (p), Clyde Lombardi (b), Jimmy Campbell (d), Betty St. Claire (vcl)

all other tracks:
Betty St. Claire (vcl), Eddie Swanson (p), Barry Galbraith (g), Addison Farmer (b), Herb Lovelle (d)

Recorded in NYC, 1955

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stan Getz-move ,live 1952-3 (bootleg)

Here's another great Getz boot, compiled from 4 concerts between august 7 1952 and january 15 1953.

the sound is good for the era, but the packaging omits to credit jimmy raney on guitar, hes obviously present .
3 tracks also feature the little known trumpet player Dick Sherman.
I got this from my regional library a few years ago..it has since dissapeared.

JAZZ IN THE MOVIES: Peggy Lee in Pete Kelley's Blues

In which Pegy Lee delivers to Sergeant Friday a little more than 'just the facts.' Not sure what it is about Peggy that is so exciting, maybe it's just a personal thing...

mpeg-2 16/9 PAL format

Ella Fitzgerald With The Tommy Flanagan Trio

Culled from two live performances, this typical Laserlight CD gives very little info. The recording date says 1969, which is correct for the Flanagan sides, but the last four tracks uses a different trio which was Ella's regular group in 1958. The recording quality is good and with almost 55 minutes of music, this was a welcome release from the low-budget label.

Ella Fitzgerald (vocals)

Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Frank DeLaRosa (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

Lou Levy (piano)
Max Bennett (bass)
Gus Johnson (drums)

  1. I Won't Dance
  2. That Old Black Magic
  3. It Happened in Monterey/No Regrets/It's a Wonderful World
  4. Cabaret
  5. Love You Madly
  6. A Man and a Woman
  7. All Right, Okay, You Win
  8. People
  9. I Concentrate on You
  10. Mr. Paganini
  11. I'm Beginning to See the Light
  12. My Heart Belongs to Daddy
  13. Just One of Those Things
  14. I Can't Give You Anything But Love

Mundell Lowe - Guitar Moods

This is re-posted from last December.

Taught the guitar by his father, Lowe joined Pee Wee King's western swing band in 1939, then moved around a number of big bands before being drafted. After his discharge, he worked with Ray McKinley's band for a couple of years, then switched to working with smaller jazz groups on the New York club circuit. From the early 1950s on, he concentrated on working as a studio musician, except for a brief stint with the mid-50s Sauter-Finegan band. He recorded as a leader of small combos with top-notch players (Ben Webster, Milt Hinton) for RCA's budget label Camden and for Riverside. He also joined with harpist Gene Bianco for a short-lived but excellent light jazz combo, the first to combine harp and electric guitar as leads.

One of Lowe's more significant contributions to jazz was his discovery of the pianist Bill Evans while Evans was attending college at Southeastern Louisiana State. He toured as an accompanist to Peggy Lee in the early 1960s. He also provided the scores for a few films, most notably that classic piece of exotica, Satan in High Heels. In 1969, he joined the staff of KCET, the public television station in Los Angeles, where he produced the series, "Jazz in the Round," which aired on PBS stations nationwide. While with KCET, he composed a second film score, this time for the Tom Laughlin's maverick 70s cult film, Billy Jack. He left KCET in 1973 and worked as a freelance producer and arranger, occasionally touring as a performer or accompanist.

"This is very much a chamber jazz set. Mundell Lowe plays "Our Waltz" as an unaccompanied guitar solo and his trio with bassist Trigger Alpert and drummer Ed Shaughnessy is joined by either Al Klink or Phil Bodner on various woodwinds during seven of the 11 other selections. The bass clarinet, flute, oboe, and English horn are quite atmospheric, adding to the beauty of the ballads. The brevity of the individual selections is understandable but it is unfortunate that this CD reissue is only 32 and a half minutes long, for what is here is quite memorable. Guitar Moods, which lives up to its name, is recommended anyway." ~ Scott Yanow

Mundell Lowe (guitar)
Al Klink (flute, bass clarinet)
Phil Bodner (oboe, French horn)
Trigger Alpert (bass)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)

1. Speak Low
2. We'll Be Together Again
3. Memories Of You
4. Ill Wind
5. You Don't Know What Love Is
6. I Dream Too Much
7. June In January
8. I'll Take Romance
9. It's So Peaceful In The Country
10. Our Waltz
11. I'm Old Fashioned
12. Goodbye

Monday, September 1, 2008

Nat King Cole - Anatomy Of A Jam Session

This is, properly speaking, a session led by Herbie Haymer at which Cole, Rich and Charlie Shavers are hired guns. This , of course, is Nat King Cole as musician, not crooner; and we all know what a formidable pianist he was. I checked the Mosaic set, and this session doesn't seem to appear on it. The Chronological Nat Cole for 1945 has the master tracks, but none of these alternates. This was another Eddie Laguna produced session. It was also the "secret" recording session that almost got Buddy Rich fired from Tommy Dorsey's band because it violated Tommy's recording contract.

"Cole is heard on this quintet session purely as a pianist, co-starring with trumpeter Charlie Shavers and tenor saxophonist Herbie Haymer; bassist John Simmons and drummer Buddy Rich play mainly in support. The quintet only actually performs five songs but seven alternate takes fill in the program and it is very interesting hearing the musicians gradually form the shape of their solos." ~ Scott Yanow

Herbie Haymer (tenor sax)
Nat King Cole (piano)
Charlie Shavers (trumpet)
John Simmons (bass)
Buddy Rich (drums)

1. Black Market Stuff (Incomplete) (110-0)
2. Black Market Stuff (110-1)
3. Black Market Stuff (110-2)
4. Black Market Stuff (110-3)
5. Laguna Leap (111-1)
6. Laguna Leap (111-2)
7. Laguna Leap (111-3)
8. I'll Never Be the Same (112-1)
9. I'll Never Be the Same (112-2)
10. Swingin' On Central (113-1)
11. Swingin' On Central (113-2)
12. Kicks (142 &143)

Hollywood: June 9, 1945

Don Byas - A Night In Tunisia

The first of two CDs documenting two nights at the Montmartre in Copenhagen, this release features the great tenor Don Byas in a quartet with pianist Bent Axen, bassist Niels Pederson (still a teenager) and drummer William Schiopffe. Alternating romps with ballads, Byas tears into such songs as "I'll Remember april," "Anthropology" and "A Night in Tunisia." He shows that, despite being overseas since 1946, he had lost nothing of his power and inventiveness. This release (along with Walkin') is easily recommended, among the best recordings from Byas' European years. ~ Scott Yanow

Don Byas (tenor sax)
Bent Axen (piano)
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass)
William Schiopffe (drums)

1. I'll Remember April
2. Lover Man
3. Anthropology
4. Lady Bird
5. Yesterdays
6. A Night In Tunisia

Recorded At The Montmartre Jazzhus, Copenhagen: January 14, 1963

Howard Rumsey and the Lighthouse All-Stars

Howard Rumsey - Music For Lighthousekeeping

A veteran of the Stan Kenton band, bassist Howard Rumsey's greatest contribution may have been in providing a solid base of operations for many of the West coast's finest players of the '50s. From 1951 to '60, Rumsey led a variety of bands at the Lighthouse Cafe (which he later co-owned) in Hermosa Beach near Los Angeles featuring such outstanding musicians as Max Roach, Jimmy Giuffre, and Shorty Rogers. Recorded in 1956, Music for Lighthousekeeping is typical of the music Rumsey and his compatriots made: relaxed, witty, and warm. If some of the original vehicles such as arranger/composer Bill Holman's two mambo tunes now sound a bit out of fashion, the band's ability to integrate such historic stepping stones as Count Basie's "Topsy" and "Taxi War Dance" into their mellow, modern sound more than compensates. This edition of the band is notable for its inclusion of a young Sonny Clark on piano, drummer Stan Levey, and Kenton veterans Bob Cooper on sax, Conte Condoli on trumpet, and Frank Rosolino on trombone. ~ Fred Goodman

Bob Cooper (tenor sax)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Howard Rumsey (bass)
Stan Levey (drums)

1. Love Me Or Levey
2. Taxi War Dance
3. Octavia
4. Mambo Las Vegas
5. Jubilation
6. I Deal
7. Latin For Lovers
8. Topsy

Howard Rumsey - Jazz Rolls Royce

Other than an obscure effort for Philips in 1961, this was the final recording by Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars. Actually, the 1957 edition of the band (with trumpeter Stu Williamson, trombonist Frank Rosolino, Bob Cooper on tenor, pianist Victor Feldman doubling on vibes, bassist Rumsey, and drummer Stan Levey) is augmented on this obscure LP by ten additional horns. Cooper is the most important force on the date, for not only does he take many fine tenor solos, but he composed five of the six numbers (all but the opening "Strike Up the Band") and provided all of the arrangements. The music, although not innovative, is colorful and swings, but will be difficult to locate. ~ Scott Yanow

Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Pete Candoli (trumpet)
Stu Williamson (trumpet)
Bob Cooper (tenor sax)
Victor Feldman (piano, vibraphone)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Howard Rumsey (bass)
Stan Levey (drums)

1. Strike Up The Band
2. Prelude To The Queen
3. Clown's Dance
4. Coop Salutes The "Co-Op"
5. Bruinville, My Bruinville
6. Mambo del Quado
7. Bruinville, My Bruinville
8. Mambo del Quado